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Will a ballot initiative overturn California's climate law?

AB 32 ballot initiativecalifornia climate lawglobal warming

Boycott_valero_sticker The battle to delay enforcement of California's sweeping global warming law, the toughest in the nation, is heating up. Oil companies -- along with an obscure Missouri conservative action group -- injected a new infusion of cash into signature gathering for a November ballot initiative -- reporting the contributions late Friday night to the California secretary of State. That brought the total behind the initiative to $1.9 million so far. Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum came on board with $300,000 to battle AB 32.

Meanwhile, San Francisco's Green Tech Action Fund, an offshoot of the nonprofit Energy Foundation, cut a check for $500,000. Along with contributions from the Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Fund, that brought the total spent so far to fight the initiative to $637,500. Google, Applied Materials, and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, representing the tech industry, have signed pledge cards to join the campaign against the initiative. The National Venture Capital Assn., representing 400 firms, announced its opposition last week, saying any delay in enforcement of AB 32, the climate law, would mean that "promising companies will either move elsewhere or fail for lack of market traction."

Speculation has begun that, if the measure qualifies for the ballot, expenditures on both sides -- Silicon Valley vs. Big Oil -- could top $150 million, given the billions at stake in the state's pioneering effort to combat climate change and spur a green-tech economy. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the climate law's enthusiastic defender, has offered to compromise with industry critics by ramping it up slowly and allowing polluters to buy offsets to avoid big expenses.

On Sunday, the California Democratic Party convention voted to include language in its platform saying, "To safeguard our cherished environment, California Democrats will oppose any attempt to roll back or weaken the state's landmark Global Warming Solutions Act."  Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown opposes the initiative to delay the law; GOP candidates Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner support a delay. Activists have launched a boycott of gas stations run by Valero Energy Corp. and Tesoro Corp. -- the Texas-based refinery giants who are among the initiative's biggest funders.

Read more here on what's happening with the ballot initiative.

-- Margot Roosevelt

Photo: A sticker distributed by Working Assets, a San Francisco telephone company, and the Los Angeles-based Courage Campaign, which have launched a boycott of Valero Energy Corp., the biggest contributor to a ballot initiative to overturn the state's climate law.

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It is a wicked move to stall the green law. Everyone shopuld realize now as to who is the enemy of who and who is working against nature.

It is interesting that Valero is being called a "large oil company." Last I checked, Valero has never produced a single drop of oil. All of the oil that they process in their refineries is purchased from other companies. The public is mistaken when they think that a refining company is the same as "big oil." Labeling Valero as big oil is just a ploy to scare the public.
Another argument that people are getting excited about is that a Texas company is getting involved in California issues. Valero and Tesoro produce at least 30% of California's gasoline. Who cares where their company headquarters are, they do business in California. Does the reverse logic apply? Do they argue that they don't need to obey California rules and regulations because their main offices are in Texas? Absolutely not.
California gasoline is already more expensive than almost everywhere else in the country because of tighter California regulations and anybody who thinks that adding regulation on CO2 should not increase the price at the pump is living in a dream.

With unemployment at over 12%, California has one of America’s highest unemployment rates. California also suffers beyond many states due to its punitive sales and income taxes, bloated unionized bureaucracy, chronic illegal immigration and gratuitous environmental laws. In economic recession, California has seen an unprecedented exodus of people and businesses who can no longer prosper in the once “Golden State.”

Before the economic downturn, Californians naively approved the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Assembly Bill 32) that mandates 2012 reductions of greenhouse gases through carbon taxes, alternative fuels and renewable replacements. All new climate laws increase the unit production costs and corresponding consumer prices of goods and services. A study by the Governor's Small Business Advocate reports that small businesses pay more than $134,000 each in annual California regulatory costs. Estimates are that the total cost of California regulations is about $493 billion annually – the equivalent of 3.8 million jobs. Environmental regulatory costs are a significant embedded cost in all of California’s products, services and enterprise.

California voters can stop climate laws like the California Global Warming Solutions Act (A.B. 32), if State Assemblyman Dan Logue succeeds in collecting signatures for a November 2010 ballot initiative. Simply put, Logue’s initiative would block implementation of A.B. 32 until the state’s unemployment rate is reduced to below 5.5%. As a Central Valley Republican, Logue estimates that A.B. 32 could cost the state an additional 1million in job losses with its cap-and –trade system to reduce greenhouse gases to 1990 levels.

What is clear in California, and globally, given recent climate frauds, is that partisan ideologies and cultish environmentalism have replaced prudent science and economic realities in climate policy. What is also clear is that environmentalism no longer offers any product or service in support of our future security and prosperity. Militant environmentalism and green-obsessed bureaucrats have become an “axis of antagonism” that we can no longer afford.


It is a moot point anyways considering how Volcanoes show clearly that human's effect on this poor little five billion year old planet is like f a r t i n g in tornado. We are mortal monkeys and not immortal Gods dictating temperatures of planets.So the planet is NOT dying and voter support is gone so get ahead of the curve and be a responsible enviros, not neocon like fear mongers.

More air pollution vs. Clean air, that's what this ballot measure is all about. Valero's interest in bank-rolling this anti-clean air proposition is quite transparent. California is moving away from fossil fuels and toward wind and solar power. This Texas oil company is trying to derail a law that will force them to clean up their act. I hope California voters see beyond Big Texas Oil and vote against this measure.


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