On June 22nd, a ballot measure that would suspend AB 32, California’s historic climate change law, qualified for the November 2010 ballot. This ballot measure, ironically called, The California Jobs Initiative, would require that AB 32 and its greenhouse gas reduction program be suspended until the unemployment rate in California drops below 5.5 percent for at least four consecutive quarters. This would essentially overturn this landmark law because since 1976, California’s unemployment rate has rarely dipped that low.
This ballot measure would also suspend emission reporting and fee requirements for major polluters. The main contributors of the campaign against AB 32 happen to be large oil companies, including Valero Energy Inc. and Tesoro Corp.
AB 32 has already resulted in the growth of clean technology and jobs and is a model worldwide. A suspension of this climate change policy would freeze progress on a national and international scale.