* Policy effect on jobs not clear after disruptive near
* Governor's adviser says green jobs are key
(Adds comments from governor's adviser)
SAN FRANCISCO, March 8 California's aggressive
climate change policy is likely to lead to modest job losses in
the near term due to higher energy costs and other factors, the
state's independent budget watchdog said.
The Legislative Analyst's Office was responding to a
request by Republican state Senator Dave Cogdill to study the
effects of California's 2006 climate change law, which mandates
changes to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
California's approach to the environment is being hotly
debated ahead of a November gubernatorial race. The global
economic downturn pushed unemployment to a recent record.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, has staunchly
defended the climate moves as key to building a green economy,
and many other states and the federal government are watching
"We believe that the aggregate net jobs impact in the near
term is likely to be negative," said the report, dated March 4.
"Reasons for this include the various economic
dislocations, behavioural adjustments, investment requirements,
and certain other factors," it said.
The total effects on the economy near- and long-term are
likely to be modest, since energy costs are a relatively small
share of expenses for most people living and doing business in
California, it said.
Schwarzenegger jobs adviser David Crane said studies from
the University of California, Berkeley, and others that
suggested green policies would create a vibrant economy and had
already helped California outdo other states in that field.
"The reality is that pursuing green policies is the
solution to our economic woes, not the cause," Crane said.
The state agency responsible for implementing the law is
working on a revised economic analysis after a first draft met
widespread criticism. That revision is expected this month. The
Legislative Analyst's Office based its comments on the original
(for more environmental news see our Environment blog at
(Reporting by Peter Henderson; Editing by Gary Hill and Neil