Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Proposition 23 Puts Clean Energy in Danger
Press Release

RELEASE: Proposition 23 Puts Clean Energy in Danger

Araceli Ruano and Sean Pool Detail the Global Consequences of this California Campaign

Washington, D.C. – This November, California voters are in danger of undoing one of the most progressive pieces of environmental legislation ever passed.

Texas oil companies have taken advantage of California’s quirky initiative system to place Proposition 23 on the ballot. This proposition has one purpose: to undo California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (also known as Assembly Bill 32, or “A.B. 32”), which stands as a landmark piece of bipartisan clean energy legislation and is a model for federal action. A.B. 32 has catalyzed billions of dollars in private sector investment in clean energy in the state—creating jobs, businesses, and new technologies that are leading the nation toward a cleaner energy future.

Repealing the law would damage California’s clean energy economy, severely inhibit the functioning of the United States’ clean energy innovation engine, increase pollution and dependence on foreign oil, and harm chances for comprehensive federal action. Defeating Proposition 23 at the ballot box would be not only a victory for California but also one of the strongest messages California’s voters can send to Washington and the world that we the people have the will to beat Big Oil.

Assembly Bill 32 is a model of bipartisan clean energy action

The bipartisan Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 was passed by a Democratic-controlled legislature with support from businesses, labor, environmental, and health organizations and signed into law by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. It established the first-ever mandatory reporting guidelines for global warming pollution, and set a statewide limit for carbon that will guide emissions back down to 1990 levels by 2020. This limit is implemented through a scoping plan that includes establishing a price for carbon in addition to tailpipe-emissions standards, a low-carbon fuel standard, building energy-efficiency standards, and a statewide renewable electricity standard of 33 percent by 2020.

The approach crafted by the state’s legislature and implemented by the California Air Resources Board resembles the strategy pursued by Sens. John Kerry (D-MA), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and others in the U.S. Senate. Over the past three years this approach has helped thousands of clean energy businesses in California grow, invest billions of dollars in clean technology industries, and create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

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