Calif. initiative a test for national climate law
By: CATHY BUSSEWITZ
SACRAMENTO, CALIF. — If the supporters of Proposition 23 prevail in the Nov. 2 election, California’s landmark global warming law would be suspended indefinitely.
But the out-of-state oil companies funding the initiative appear to have their sights set higher. Success in halting California’s climate-change law by showing the public doesn’t support it would give momentum to the opponents of similar legislation that has stalled in Congress.
The ballot initiative also has the power to reverse one of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s signature environmental accomplishments. In 2006, he signed the Global Warming Solutions Act, a Democratic bill that requires reduction of greenhouse gas emissions statewide to 1990 levels over the next decade.
The law, AB32, is a cornerstone of the environmental legacy the Republican governor is trying to leave and is scheduled to take effect in 2012. The California agency overseeing air regulations has already started working on the rules to implement it.
Proposition 23 calls for a postponement of AB32 until the state’s unemployment rate, now at 12.4 percent, falls to 5.5 percent and stays there for a year — a feat that has happened just three times over the last 30 years, according to state statistics.
AB32 calls for limits on emissions generated by industry, transportation, electricity generation and natural gas consumption. The law also calls for a third of the state’s electricity and energy to come from renewable resources by 2020. The new mandates would reduce consumption of fossil fuels.
Supporters of Prop. 23 say that increased regulations and fees on industrial greenhouse gas emitters would prompt companies to leave the state or expand elsewhere, taking sorely needed jobs with them.
Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/breaking/calif-initiative-a-test-for-national-climate-law-104367163.html#ixzz11eDgU6Yh
There is a lot of money being thrown into both sides of the lobbying on this bill, and it is going to come to a head on November 2nd.
California unemployment is high, and the electricity users of this state just got hit with a double whammy of public relations stupidity from the Public Utilities Commission with a rate hike for PG&E, plus the simultaneous installation of Smart Meters that are getting the blame from users that don’t understand why their electricity bills went up.
People in California are hopping mad about this, and I suspect some of that anger will get transferred to the ballot box. A recent Sacramento Bee poll showed likely voters to be split on the measure, but given the palpable anger out there, I don’t think that is a representative sample.
Read about AB32 here
Read about prop 23 to repeal it here