Prop. 23 Plucked straight from the pockets of oily-execs


Proposition 23 is a deceptive ballot initiative with the sole of intent of repealing the landmark Global Warming Solutions Act, also known as Assembly Bill 32, by praying on Californian's economic and employment concerns. The initiative will protect the financial interests and record profits of Big Oil and leave California without options for clean energy and an environmentally responsible future.


The authors of Proposition 23 claim that its passage would merely suspend AB 32. However upon closer inspection the proposition more closely resembles a direct repeal of the act. If passed, the suspension will stay in effect until the state's unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent and maintains that level for four consecutive quarters.


Although not a totally unattainable goal, this feat has only been accomplished three times in the last 40 years. Given the current unemployment rate, a staggering 12.3 percent, and continued population growth, leading economists suggest it will take years, if not decades before the state reaches those levels.


Until those levels had been maintained, the state would not be able to propose or adopt any new regulations regarding climate control.  This will effectively kill the environmental gains and standards set by AB 32, as well as the hundreds of thousands of jobs, which AB32 would create by 2020. California's quickly emerging clean energy industry will almost certainly be devastated. Prop. 23 should effectively extinguish any serious threat to the existing, "dirty" energy establishment.


The two primary sponsors of the proposition are the Texas oil companies: Valero and Tesoro which are amongst the nation's biggest polluters. California oil refineries are among the top ten polluters in our country. These oily-execs know that AB 32 will drastically impact their business, if not destroy it, and have spent millions of dollars on the proposition to prevent this.


Proposition 23 proponents claim AB 32's lack of immediate employment would mean the loss of 1.1 million jobs in California. This, however, couldn't be further from the truth. It is in fact Proposition 23, which will annihilate many high paying jobs and stall California in its push to become a leader in green technology and manufacturing. Studies have shown AB 32 will usher in a new landscape of employment. It has already produced over 500,000 clean technology jobs and increased our GDP its short time in effect. Most of the positions created have been in the field of technology-creation and manufacturing. Should AB 32 be suspended we run the risk of losing these critical jobs to countries like Germany or China, who are fully embracing the green dream.


Alternative energy sourced jobs have been some of the few bright spots in the economy over the fours years since AB 32 was enacted and continued to grow, even through the economic fallout and recession. Green jobs have grown ten times faster than the statewide average. California's clean technology sector received $9 billion in cumulative venture capital investment from 2005-2009, more than five times more than the nearest competitor.


Proposition 23, however, will keep us dependent on oil, most of it foreign-produced, and other fossil fuels, further threatening our national security. Passage of the proposition would also increase our exposure to environmental and economic disasters by leaving open the possibility and potential need to drill our precious coastline. Remember BP?


Public health would most-certainly suffer as well. Most of these oil companies' refineries are in, or near, high-density areas. California already has some of the poorest air quality in the nation. This public health concern is very real and will only increase with the passage of 23.


AB 32 set the tone for the future of California. An economic, prosperous and green future, which big-oil is desperately trying hijack from the current, and future generations, of Californians. Don't let them succeed; vote NO on 23.