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Labor's Edge: Views from the California Labor Movement

Sempra Energy Proposal Could Cost as Many as 15,000 U.S. Jobs with California Hardest Hit

by Cesar Diaz, State Building and Construction Trades Council of California

According to a recent report, Sempra Energy’s plan to offshore green energy production to Mexico would result in as many as 15,000 lost U.S. jobs and nearly $300 million in lost local, state and federal tax revenue. 90% of the direct job losses would occur in Imperial County, which had the highest unemployment rate in the nation as of April 2011 at 27.9%

The study, “Should Green Jobs Be Outsourced: A Case Study of Lost Jobs and Lost Opportunities,” was authored by Dr. Peter Philips, Professor of Economics at the University of Utah.

Philips:

There is a tradeoff between building renewable energy in California and building it in Mexico to import into California. In the case of Sempra’s proposed Energia Sierra Juarez transmission line, California and more specifically, Imperial County, loses.

Bob Balgenorth, President of the California State Building and Construction Trades Council:

This report confirms what we’ve known all along: Sempra’s plan is a job killer. This flawed proposal to import energy instead of building projects here undermines President Obama’s vision to create jobs. It is the wrong direction at a time when we should be building green energy projects in the state to put Californians back to work.

The California State Building and Construction Trades Council calls on Secretary Chu to just say no to Sempra’s plan to outsource American jobs.

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 569 represents Imperial County, the area most threatened by Sempra’s proposal.

Local 569 Business Manager, Johnny Simpson:

With construction unemployment at its highest in a generation, we can’t afford to outsource even one construction job as Sempra is proposing to do.

Sempra Energy has asked the Department of Energy for a Presidential Permit to construct a cross-border transmission line, known as Energia Sierra Juarez, between Mexico and California to enable the company to import electricity into California from energy projects in Mexico. Energy Secretary Steven Chu will decide later this year whether or not to allow Sempra’s proposal to proceed.

Click here to download a copy of “Should Green Jobs Be Outsourced: A Case Study of Lost Jobs and Lost Opportunities”.

Posted on 07/14/2011Permalink

More posts by Cesar Diaz

Reader Discussion

Sempra Energy certainly would not be blamed for trying to make more profit. The guilty party is our very own government who should not give outsourced companies any tax breaks and does not give incentives to stay in the USA. Our Congress with full cooperation of the presidents have made a mess out of our country both financially and of our security.

at 5:17 pm on Fri, Jul 29, 2011Posted by CynicalOtto

How dare you steal jobs from Americans and export them?  You are being responsible for our deficit and unemployment in the U.S.A.  You will be HATED by everyone in this country.

at 8:36 pm on Sat, Jul 30, 2011Posted by Nina Diamante

As a former President of Utility Workers Union of America,AFL-CIO, Local 132,the union which represents the employees at Sempra Energy’s The Gas Company, I am concerned with Sempra’s blantant disregard for the welfare of our workers and the current enconomy. Instead of demonstrating “Leadership” by creating good meaningful jobs that will help our economy,and provide a helping hand for our communities, especially in the Imperial Valley, instead, Sempra has chosen to “breed” in corporate “greed”.

at 10:29 am on Sun, Jul 31, 2011Posted by Marti Harris

I am concerned with Sempra’s blantant disregard for the welfare of our workers. The guilty party is our very own government who should not give outsourced companies any tax breaks and does not give incentives to stay in the USA. Our Congress with full cooperation of the presidents have made a mess out of our country both financially and of our security. How dare you steal jobs from Americans and export them?

at 6:53 am on Thu, Jan 5, 2012Posted by ChristopherMarshall

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