Friday, October 12, 2012

Weber: Support for Our Local Biofuels Industry Will Prevent Pain at the Pump and Create Good Local Jobs

LEMON GROVE - As gas prices stay high across California after spiking 35 cents a gallon just last week in San Diego – Dr. Shirley Weber is calling for more support for our local biofuels industry to address the problem over the long-term. Weber, a candidate for state Assembly, called for an increase in state investment in local biofuels companies earlier this year – and she renewed her call today.

“Hard-working San Diegans will likely see the highest prices of their lifetime this week, according to the Oil Price Information Service,” Weber said. “The status quo is no longer good enough. Not for our families and not for our communities. I am committed to eradicating this preventable pain at the pump. I believe in investing in our local biofuel industry and the companies working to make us energy independent. California’s government owes it to the citizens of this state to make these investments now and for the future – so this doesn’t happen again. Because if we don’t, it will.”

Weber laid out three action items to support local industry while reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

1. San Diego is home to groundbreaking research on biofuels, especially those developed from algae. It’s time to accelerate the production being done here so that we are in control our own energy future. Accelerated biofuel production would not only ease pain at the pump, it would put hundreds of San Diegans back to work in good-paying jobs in a growing sector.

2. We must continue to smartly support emerging technologies – like alternative fuel vehicles – that will not only improve our environment but will make these spikes in gas prices a thing of the past. Not every one of these alternatives makes financial sense and we need to be careful about our investments. But wise and steady work in this area can help stabilize the energy markets and put more people to work.

3. Preparation is key. As energy consumers we often find ourselves at the mercy of a broken pipeline hundreds of miles away, a seasonal refinery switch in Northern California, or a hostile regime a half a world away. Being prepared isn’t expensive and it isn’t a waste of time – especially for a problem we knew we’d face yet again. Our agencies need to better coordinate so that we are prepared to face these problems and not sit idly by while prices soar.

Earlier this year, Dr. Weber started an online petition citizens can sign to support increasing our production of biofuel and reducing our dependence on oil.

About Dr. Shirley Weber

Born to sharecroppers in Hope, Arkansas, Shirley Weber has lived in California since the age of three. Educated in our state’s public schools, she received her BA, MA and PhD from UCLA by the time she was 26. A respected community advocate known for her work on closing the academic achievement gap, Dr. Weber is the former President of the San Diego School Board. She currently serves as the mayor’s appointee and Chair of the Citizens’ Equal Opportunity Commission, where she has created jobs by tripling the number of small businesses contracting with the city of San Diego. Dr. Weber is also a professor at SDSU, and has lived in the 79th Assembly District for over 30 years. 
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