Will Proposition 23 take over the November election in California? It’s surely shaping up to be the most hotly debated issue this year. For those unfamiliar, Prop 23 is a ballot initiative that would suspend AB 32. AB 32 is Governor Schwarzenegger’s shining star that calls for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020. It’s slated to begin in 2012. That is, if Prop 23 doesn’t get in the way. If passed, Prop 23 would halt AB 32, at least until unemployment drops to 5.5% or below for four consecutive quarters, a standard that California has met only three times in the past three decades. Outside of those three instances, California unemployment hasn’t dipped below 5.5 percent in any other quarter since 1980 (National Journal Magazine).
So where does this leave one of the most forward thinking, and ambitious states when it comes to the environment and energy efficiency?
At a crossroads.
California is bracing for a major showdown between environmentalists, public health groups, and many large businesses who decry the proposition as the Dirty Energy Proposition. They are opposed by a group of petroleum companies and representatives of the manufacturing and small business sectors who refer to 23 as the California Jobs Initiative.
It is anticipated that much of this debate will play out in the race for Governor of California between former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and Attorney General Jerry Brown. See where the candidates stand.
Where do you stand?
Of note, if you are interested in learning more about this very issue, the UCLA Institute for the Environment has scheduled a public debate, moderated by Patt Morrison of KPCC and the Los Angeles Times on Thursday, October 21 at 7:00 pm. To RSVP click here.
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