SOCMA's Justine Freisleben attended the Chemical Industry Council of California Annual Meeting last month, where SOCMA's Bill Allmond was once again approved to serve on the CICC Board of Directors.
During the meeting, attendees discussed the status of California’s Green Chemistry bills and budget process. Tom Jacob, Co-Executive Director of CICC, gave an overview of the outcomes from the Rio +20 conference, which focused on green economies and a framework for sustainable development. He reported that the European Union continued to push a green agenda, but developing countries pushed back, largely because they felt that policies would inhibit their development. Key issues discussed during the Rio +20 conference were:
Notably, there was no convention on chemicals at Rio +20, but SOCMA continues to watch as this remains on the EU agenda, and there was a more vigorous and prominent debate than expected.
Prior to the CICC Annual Meeting, many CICC members attended the California Manufacturers & Technology Association's 2012 Manufacturers Summit, where speakers gave an interesting overview of California’s economy. In many ways, the commentary and complaints were similar to what SOCMA has indicated as hurdles to certainty in the business environment all over the country. Bill Watkins, Executive Director of California Lutheran University's Center for Economic Research and Forecasting, put it well when he said that despite California’s huge potential because of weather, ports, proximity to the Pacific Rim and oil and natural gas reserves, “It will be held back by a uniquely uncompetitive environment, a result of well-meaning but inefficient, and often counter-productive, regulatory and tax policies.” California's leadership refuses to acknowledge that the state needs to be competitive with other states and the rest of the world to keep manufacturing, he said.
For more information about the conference, contact Justine Freisleben at (202) 721-4155.