YEO Policy Books 2015 Policy Book - Page 79

EmPower California Act Origin: California State Legislature Link: Click here YEO Sponsor: Assemblyman Luis Alejo Summary: Passed in October 2015, the EmPower California Act directs the state Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission to develop and implement an outreach program to encourage, recruit, and retain diverse contractors and minority-owned energy businesses. Talking Points & Important Information: • Operating that the intersection of economic equity and promoting a clean energy economy, EmPower California (AB 865) will help build a greener, more sustainable energy economy that prioritizes competition, diversity, and transparency. It will boost job creation and opportunities for California’s minority, women, LGBT, and disabled veteran-owned businesses in the energy industry, and ensure that all Californians have access to resources that provide jobs and economic opportunities. • Increasing access to clean energy dollars ensure that all Americans can participate in the clean energy economy – either through job creation or through access to clean energy options. • According to a study by the University of Minnesota, race, more than income or region, determines who air pollution hurts the most. Altogether, people of color (black, Asian, Latino and Hispanic), regardless of income, are exposed to at least 38 percent more air pollution – like nitrogen dioxide or smog – than their white counterparts, and yet contribute 20 percent less pollution than whites. Diversity plans like EmPower California ensures that the communities most adversely affected by traditional utilities can actively participate in the creation of sustainable and green energy. • To learn more about the clean energy economy, click here. 2015 POLICY BOOK STATE LEVEL PAGE 79