Three years after liberal environmentalist Tom Steyer bullied Californians into not opposing the Clean Energy Jobs Act, the payoffs have failed to materialize. Steyer promised that the Act, which was little more than a tax hike on corporations, would create 11,000 new green jobs and raise $1 billion in revenue each year. So far it’s more than 30,000 jobs and $2 billion short.
The media have ignored the dismal progress of the California Act. Not a single network has discussed the Act’s failure, and the results have just begun to get attention after an August 17 Associated Press report.
The Act, also known as Proposition 39, was supposed to close a $1 billion tax loophole on multistate corporations. Half of the new tax revenue which came in was then supposed to be diverted to green-job-creating projects which outfitted California schools with greener energy solutions.
Instead of California seeing 33,000 new jobs and $3 billion in new revenue over the last three years however, only 1,700 jobs have been created, and less than $1 billion has been brought in, according to the Associated Press. That’s just 5 percent of its jobs goal.
According to AP research, “not one project for which the state allocated $12.6 million has been completed in the Los Angeles Unified School District.” Additionally, construction hasn’t even begun on two schools which were scheduled to receive “lighting retrofits and heating and cooling upgrades” this summer.
Proposition 39 implementation is further plagued by a lack of accountability. Though a board was created to oversee projects and submit a progress report each year, “not enough data has been collected for the nine-member oversight board...to meet,” a spokeswoman told AP.
Steyer used $30 million of his own money to support pro-Proposition 39 propaganda like Yes on 39 and Prop 39 Implementation. The websites and Facebook page for Steyer’s campaigns went silent after 2013, and Steyer’s office declined to comment on the now apparent failure of Proposition 39.
Steyer has a robust history of Climate Change and environmental opportunism. In July 2015, the Washington Free Beacon revealed that he was significantly involved with green companies which benefited from the lobbying done by Steyer’s Next Generation Climate PAC.