Hella This, NorCal: OC Beats You in Creation of Green Businesses

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When it comes to the creation of green businesses, those BART-riding, granola-gnawing, patchouli-oiling earth muffins in Northern California have nothing on Orange Countians.

According to the Environmental Defense Fund's map of California's Green Economy, Orange County's 275 green companies are surpassed only by Los Angeles County's 489 businesses.

And, oh yeah, LA ain't NorCal either.

Or, as the boy on the right puts it, "Mew-uhhhh . . ."

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The Environmental Defense Fund, which began the map in 2009, includes 3,500 companies in every major metropolitan area of the state. It is based on data contained in recent reports by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and the state's Employment Development Department.

The map does not merely include companies that adhere to green business practices. It breaks them up in these categories: low-carbon energy; energy efficiency; transportation; green building and carbon market.

"California's naysayers often claim that we should slow down our progress on clean energy and clean air because the overall economy is struggling," writes Tim O'Connor, an EDF Energy Program attorney in Sacramento, here. "The truth is that the green economy is a bright spot, generating jobs, investment and business growth."

He goes on to bring up these interesting points:

  • The Green Innovation Index shows that green jobs have grown at 10 times the statewide average since 2005. 

  • Ernst & Young just reported for the second quarter of this year, $1.5 billion was invested in U.S. clean tech companies-an increase of nearly 65% from a year ago-and that 75% ($1.12 billion) of the funding went to California businesses.

  • About 380,000 people are employed in the energy efficiency services workforce sector- a byproduct of state actions to reduce energy use. It expected this number to increase to 1.3 million by 2020.

  • With the influx of jobs and capital, the green economy's footprint is getting wider and deeper across the state.

Speaking of that: Santa Clara County came in third with 265 green businesses.

Keep at it, Spanky!
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