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Why did Valero launch Prop. 23?

November 1, 2010 | 12:07 am

In the most closely watched environmental election fight in the country, national conservation groups, Silicon Valley moguls, Hollywood celebrities and California politicians have waged a scorched-earth campaign against Valero Energy Corp., the nation's biggest independent oil refiner and the principal backer of Proposition 23, which would suspend California's ambitious global-warming law.

"The opposition has been able to characterize this issue as Texas oil companies …dirty companies and dirty polluters," says Valero Chief Executive Bill Klesse.

But lost in the uproar over the initiative, which has attracted more contributions for and against it than any measure on the ballot, is a basic issue: What would it take for Valero to comply with AB 32, California's Global Warming Solutions Act?

Read more in the Times' Greenspace blog about what Valero has at stake in Prop. 23.

--Margot Roosevelt

RELATED: Support for Prop. 23 drops sharply in poll

                Obama: No on Prop. 23 and corporate polluters

                Meg Whitman wants to "fix" California's global-warming law

PHOTO: Valero's Wilmington refinery, near the Port of Long Beach, in October 2010. The company is the main funder of Proposition 23, a ballot initiative to suspend California's global-warming law. The law would require companies to slash their greenhouse gas emissions. Christina House /For The Times