March 24, 2010 20:31 ET

Statement of John Boesel: California SB 71 Bill Signing Ceremony

PASADENA, CA--(Marketwire - March 24, 2010) -  CALSTART's President and CEO, John Boesel, speaks today at the signing ceremony for SB 71. In it, he praises a deal between the Governor and the State's legislative leaders to exempt manufacturing equipment to produce clean energy and technology products, vehicles, and fuels from the state sales tax. 

John Boesel Statement
Good afternoon. My name is John Boesel, the President and CEO of CALSTART. Our organization's mission is to see the clean transportation technology industry grow as fast as it can. We have 120 member companies who represent a wide array of clean vehicles, fuels, and technologies. And they are very glad that Senate Bill 71 will become law today.

California, particularly under this Governor, has been a world leader in terms of policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and reduce dependence on oil. With the passage of this bill today, we now have a chance to become a world leader in terms of clean transportation technology job creation.

Prior to this legislation, companies would develop a list of pros and cons about manufacturing in California. The one "con" I heard over and over again was the one that was easy to quantify and stood out like a sore thumb: the state sales tax on manufacturing equipment. With the passage of SB 71, that one major "con" is gone. 

In the clean transportation technology segment alone this bill will help create thousands of jobs. Here are some examples of where I see some of the job creating occurring as a result of SB 71:

Next generation California-based renewable fuel companies like Solazyme, Cobalt Biofuels, LS9, Codexis, and Amyris are now likely to build pilot plants in California and eventually production plants that will ultimately produce millions of barrels of low carbon fuel per year.

California is currently home to 12 different manufacturers of plug-in and hybrid vehicles ranging from electric bikes to buses. Each of these manufacturers will now be encouraged to invest more in California and hire more workers. Tesla has already cited this sales tax exemption as a key reason why they are building facilities here in California.

California will be the first and largest market for plug-in vehicles. As a result, the leading companies developing the latest recharging technology like AeroVironment, Better Place, Clipper Creek, and Coulomb are all based in the state. They will now be encouraged to manufacture their products here in California.

I want to really thank Governor Schwarzenegger, Speaker Perez, President Pro-tem Steinberg, Senator Padilla, and Assemblyman Blakeslee for their leadership on this issue. It is fantastic to see what good bipartisan cooperation can do. With the passage of this bill, they are saying that not only is California going to be a policy leader in terms of climate, air quality, and energy security, they are saying the state is serious about clean energy job creation and retention and putting Californians back to work.

On behalf of the CALSTART member companies I want to thank you for your courage, leadership, and ability to reach across party lines and work together.

CALSTART is a non-profit organization focused on the growth of the clean transportation technology industry. CALSTART has about 120 member companies representing a broad array of clean vehicles, fuels, and technologies. CALSTART provides services and consulting help to spur advanced transportation technologies, fuels, systems and the companies that make them. With its headquarters in Pasadena, CALSTART has offices in Richmond, California and Denver, Colorado. For more information visit:

Contact Information

  • Contact: Mary Kathryn Campbell at (626) 744-5602 or Email Contact