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Schwarzenegger attacks ‘greedy oil companies’

May 3, 2010 |  3:37 pm

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Monday he would mount a vigorous defense of his landmark environmental legislation, vowing to "push back" against "greedy oil companies who want to keep polluting in our state."

His comments came as supporters of an effort to roll back AB 32, the global warming legislation Schwarzenegger signed in 2006, announced they had gathered enough signatures to get their measure on the November ballot. They submitted the signatures to the secretary of state Monday morning.

AB 32 requires California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

The initiative campaign, which is bankrolled almost entirely by oil companies including Tesoro, Valero and Occidental Petroleum Corp., would suspend implementation of the Schwarzenegger plan until the state's unemployment rate falls to 5.5%.  It is currently above 12%.

The committee behind the measure, the California Jobs Initiative, argues that the sweeping environmental laws will raise energy prices and chase manufacturing jobs out of California.

Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) joined Schwarzenegger in attacking the initiative. Steinberg called it "a desperate attempt to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory."  He said AB 32 would create more "green" jobs, which Steinberg said are "leading our state to economic recovery."

-- Jack Dolan in Sacramento

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