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Prop. 23 campaign concedes defeat

November 3, 2010 | 12:08 am

Backers of Proposition 23, the ballot initiative to suspend California's ambitious global warming law, conceded defeat, calling the outcome "a victory for Wall Street over Main Street" and vowing to continue their efforts to "save jobs" and curb energy costs.

“While the global warming law may attract venture capital dollars to the state, they will not translate into the jobs or economic activity promised by Proposition 23’s opponents,” said Jack Stewart, president of the California Manufacturers and Technology Assn.

Opponents of the initiative raised more than $30 million to defeat it--three times as much as proponents. Stewart took aim at Silicon Valley venture capitalists such as John Doerr and Vinod Khosla, who opposed the initiative along with other major clean-tech investors who see the climate law, known as AB 32, as paving the way to an economy powered with alternative energy.

“Venture capitalists will come to California to cash in on the subsidies, but the lion’s share of the facilities, revenue and jobs will go to other places, like China, where the cost of doing business is much more affordable,” he said. “It’s no coincidence that while venture capital investment in California has increased slightly since AB 32 was adopted in 2006, California has lost 1.4 million jobs and ranks among the nation’s worst in manufacturing growth.”

Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. and co-chairman of the Yes on Proposition 23 campaign, said that “as the actual regulations under the global warming law begin to take effect, it will become obvious that the costs far outweigh the benefits. “Families and taxpayers will learn too late that the bill for California’s multibillion-dollar hidden energy tax will fall squarely on their shoulders.”

-- Margot Roosevelt

RELATED: Prop 23: Backers were outspent, out-organized

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