1 Oct

No on PROP 23

On the ballot this Tuesday in California is Proposition 23, the ballot initiative that’s intended to reverse the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 aka AB-32, the initiative that helped make California the clean energy leader it is today.    Prop 23 is massively financed by mainly out-of-state fossil fuel companies. The fossil fuel backers of Prop 23 – Texas-based Marathon Oil, Tesoro Corp. and Valero Corp., and Kansas-based Koch Industries – characterize it as a ‘pro-Californian jobs’ proposition, while it massively cuts clean energy jobs, which are a robust and growing areas of the state’s economy. While the Proposition promises to initiate AB 32 when unemployment drops to 5.5 or less for a full year, that has only happened 3 times in the last 40 years. Prop 23 also damages the raise in the state’s renewable energy requirement from its current target of 20% (to which utilities have already committed) to 33% by 2020. On the last day of its last session the state legislature failed to pass SB 722, a bill that would have raised the state’s renewable energy requirement,  Governor Schwarzenegger then signed an executive order that raises the requirement to 33%… but used AB 32 authority to do so. California is a leader in solar energy in the country, AB-32 sets the example for the rest of country, as well as the world.

No on Prop 26

Proposition 26 will threaten the principle that polluters should pay for the harms they cause.   The language of Prop 26 re-defines a tax broadly to include “any levy, charge, or exaction of any kind” which sweeps many environmental and public health fees and programs within its gambit.   UCLA Law professors have analyzed the initiative, and concluded that Prop 26 would “undercut the principle that polluters should pay for harms they cause.” The exact extent of Prop 26 is questionable, but one thing is undisputed: it will have an immediate cost of $1 billion / year to the state, for a total of $11 billion in the next ten years. The proposition is designed to limit government’s ability to enact such things as fees on tobacco to fund mitigating the adverse health effects of tobacco products, and fees on carbon pollution to fund mitigation of injuries related to the pollution.  It would make it virtually impossible to hold oil, alcohol and tobacco companies accountable, through new fees, for any damage they do to our air, water and health.

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