As the November election approaches, the campaign to protect California’s landmark climate and air quality law, know as AB 32, is picking up steam. Proposition 23, the Dirty Energy Initiative, proposes suspending greenhouse gas reduction efforts in California until unemployment has dropped to below 5.5 percent for at least four consecutive quarters. This would essentially repeal this critical law, since unemployment has only been below 5.5 percent three times since 1970.
The big oil Texas oil companies that are funding this measure are trying to use the recession as an excuse to repeal our climate and air quality protections. However, as stated in Climate Progress, AB 32 has already increased investment in clean energy with over $9 billion invested since 2005. Presently, there are over 12,000 clean energy businesses throughout the state and while overall jobs decreased from 2007 to 2008, green jobs rose by 5%.
Proposition 23 would bring California’s clean energy and sustainable jobs movement to a screeching halt. If California is to lead the nation in clean energy jobs and greenhouse gas reductions, Proposition 23 cannot be part of its future. Opposition to the measure is growing and includes large and small businesses, environmental groups, economists, labor groups and state energy providers such as PG&E.