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  Governor Visits SunPower in Richmond, Touts Green Business
January 27, 2010

Schwarzenegger to plug green tech plan in Richmond
Staff reports
Posted: 01/26/2010 07:38:00 PM PST
Updated: 01/26/2010 07:46:56 PM PST

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will visit SunPower Systems' Richmond Facility on Wednesday morning, where he will speak with reporters about his proposal to make businesses that produce clean technology exempt from paying sales tax on their equipment.
The proposal is one of five components of Schwarzenegger's California Jobs Initiative to create jobs and expand business in the state.
The visit and clean technology message is a timely one in Richmond, which just last week learned that it will likely lose the Chevron refinery that has been a staple of the city's tax base for decades. The San Ramon-based oil giant said it plans to cut jobs and close facilities as it seeks a "leaner" refinery division.
Schwarzenegger's proposal is by no means new.
In 2009, an agreement was made with the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority to give Tesla Motors a sales tax exemption on the equipment they purchase to produce zero-emissions vehicles.
The governor's plan will expand the Tesla exemption to include other advanced transportation, renewable energy and green-technology projects.


Governor lauds green tech jobs in Richmond

By Karl Fischer
Contra Costa Times

Posted: 01/27/2010 01:01:58 PM PST
Updated: 01/27/2010 02:07:58 PM PST

A sales tax exemption for California's cleantech producers will help the state retain and expand a competitive advantage in a growth industry, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Wednesday during a visit to a solar-panel manufacturer in Richmond.
"Jobs, jobs, jobs," Schwarzenegger said. "What is good for the environment is also good for the economy, and this is a perfect example here."
The governor toured SunPower Systems' facility in Richmond's historic Ford building. The manufacturer is one of the world's top producers of solar power systems.
The Richmond facility now employs about 250; it soon hopes to grow to about 350.
"That is incredible, in this economic downturn," Schwarzenegger said. "The question is, will this be good for California families, or will it be good for Arizona families? Or Texas families?"
The need to keep high-performing green businesses in California ranks among the governor's priorities, he said, which is why he included a proposal to make clean technology producers such as SunPower exempt from paying sales tax on their equipment a component of his California Jobs Initiative.
"We want our green businesses to stay in Richmond," Mayor Gayle McLaughlin said. "We think we can turn the tide and continue this economic development."
Other speakers included representatives from trade unions, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and state Labor Secretary Victoria Bradshaw.

Karl Fischer at 510-262-2728. Follow him at Twitter.com/kfischer510