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September 9, 2011 > Support California solar companies

Support California solar companies

Solyndra's demise should not deter support for emerging industry; SB 134 would provide a state bid preference for companies using California made solar panels

Submitted By Andrew LaMar

Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (D-San Leandro) and Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) called on the Legislature, on August 6, 2011, to continue nurturing the growth of the solar industry and pass a bill to give companies using solar panels manufactured, or assembled, in California a preferential consideration in state contracts.

"I understand people's anger and frustration over Solyndra's bankruptcy and shall do all I can to assist the 1,100 people who lost their jobs and obtain answers to what happened," Corbett said. "However, now is not the time to turn our back on important emerging industries, such as solar power, that will be the cornerstones of the 21st century global economy."

"Senate Bill 134 supports California jobs," Corbett added. "If California is going to place solar panels on state property, we should try to use panels made or assembled in California. It's common sense to use taxpayer dollars to support California jobs."

"One thing is clear," Wieckowski said, "Solyndra's demise shows how tough it is to compete with solar companies in other countries, such as China, which benefit from cheap labor and huge government subsidies. SB 134 is the right thing to do."

The week ending September 2, 2011, Fremont-based solar company Solyndra shut down, laid off 1,100 employees and filed for bankruptcy. Many have questioned the state and federal governments' funding of the company as part of efforts to nurture the development of the solar power industry.

SB 134 would provide a five-percent bid preference on state contracts to companies that use solar panels manufactured or assembled in California.

"The bottom line is California's unemployment rate is more than 12 percent, and our economy continues to struggle to rebound from recession. Enacting SB 134 is one simple step we can take to help protect California jobs," concluded Corbett.

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