On November 2nd, 2010, Californians will vote on Proposition 23, the ballot initiative that would suspend the state’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32).
AB 32 was signed into law by Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Governor of California, on September 27, 2006. The bill establishes a timetable to bring California into near compliance with the provisions of the Kyoto Protocol.
If passed, Prop 23 would put on hold a state renewable energy target, a market for rights to trade greenhouse gases and many other steps adopted under the state’s AB 32. Put simply, the passage of Prop 23 would eliminate green jobs and increase pollution.
Supporters of Prop 23 have received contributions that top $9 million, led by oil companies including Tesoro Corp, Valero Energy Corp and Koch Industries’ Flint Hills Resources.
According to a poll released today, Californians are leaning against the ballot to suspend the state’s climate change law. The Public Policy Institute of California poll found 48 percent of likely voters oppose Prop 23 and 37 percent support it. However, 15 percent of those asked did not know.
The repeal of California’s climate change law would be a major defeat for America’s green economy. Although the polls indicate the proposition will be defeated, the undecided voters in combination with widespread frustration make the outcome less than certain.
The fact that this proposition is being voted on at all is an illustration of how the anti-incumbent mood imperils important environmental policy initiatives.
If big-oil-funded Prop 23 succeeds in repealing California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, it will put aside a major bipartisan achievement. California’s bipartisanship in the passage of AB 32 is all the more remarkable in light of the gridlock caused by Republican obstructionism in Washington.
Prop 23 is a referendum on the green economy. If the proposition passes, it would destroy much of the state’s green industry, if it is defeated, California will be a model that other states will follow.
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