Fueling the Future: How California Businesses are Advancing Earth Day’s Vision

By Emily Reyna and Larissa Koehler

To mark the 44th Earth Day, EDF has released a new Green Roads map celebrating clean transportation, an economic sector that is helping the Earth by producing groundbreaking and sustainable technologies.

We Californians like to drive, but unfortunately our dependence on petroleum is harming our state, giving us the nation’s most polluted cities and the state’s biggest contributor to climate pollution (see the graph).

California greenhouse gas emissions by sector. Source: California Air Resources Board - May 2013 Investment Plan

California greenhouse gas emissions by sector. Source: California Air Resources Board – May 2013 Investment Plan

Fortunately, state policies like the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) and the AB 32 cap-and-trade program are helping to reduce damaging greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, while bolstering California’s economy and allowing green companies to grow and thrive.  In fact the number of clean transportation jobs in California tripled from 2001-2011.

In partnership with CALSTARTEnvironmental Entrepreneurs (E2), and the Natural Resources Defense Council Green Roads showcases over 300 companies in 400 locations in California that are in the trenches advancing clean transportation and our low-carbon future.  This includes a wide array of companies and functions, from electric vehicle manufacturers like Tesla, to biofuel producers like Community Fuels, and the investment firms that help them get off the ground.

The people working in the hundreds of businesses listed in Green Roads agree that California’s clean transportation policies are ushering in positive change. As Ricky Hanna, CEO, Electric Vehicles International states:

“Electric Vehicles International (EVI), formerly headquartered in Mexico, moved our operations to California in 2009 due in part to California’s leading air quality polices, including AB 32 and AB 118,  designed to help deploy zero-emission vehicles to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and clean the air for communities throughout the state.”

In these years of living dangerously in the face of climate change’s ever noticeable impacts, California is acting to create a more sustainable future. This year, we celebrate Earth Day by highlighting the innovators that often get overlooked. The positive transformation these clean transportation companies bring is exciting and represents a big win-win: drastically lower air pollution and improved quality of our transportation, a sector vital to the people and economy of California.

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