Why are a number of Texas-based oil companies pouring money into a nascent ballot initiative in California? Becasue they don’t want to clean up their act.
In a desperate attempt to undermine the state’s ground-breaking environmental policies, these companies are funding a campaign to stall – or cancel completely – California’s comprehensive plan for climate change mitigation. Assembly Bill 32, approved in 2006, would place a cap on the state’s emissions, bringing them down 30 percent by 2020.
Companies like Valero and World Oil Corp. have contributed almost $1 million to support a ballot initiative that would delay implementation of AB 32 until California’s unemployment rates hold at or below 5.5 percent for a year. Realistically, this equates to an indefinite postponement – a quick look at unemployment data over the past two decades shows that rates rarely stay that low for an entire year.
Republican gubernatorial candidates Meg Whitman and Steve Poisner have jumped on the initiative, claiming that curbs on carbon emissions will destroy jobs and increase the burden on consumers. The campaign continues to cite statistics from a CSU Sacramento report which has since been thoroughly discredited.
- Small businesses are not regulated by AB 32, and costs to them will be negligible. Many of California’s largest employers support the bill (Google, Ebay, etc.)
- AB 32 is likely to save households money by supporting energy efficiency; such measures have already saved Californians $56 billion.
- Capping emissions would further boost California’s robust clean energy sector. California’s energy efficiency policies have already created 1.5 million jobs
Considering the amount of money being spent, he initiative it likely to be on the ballot in November. The nation will be watching to see where Californians stand on an issue that their state has pioneered for decades. It will be a huge blow to the environmental movement if oil money manages to reverse the progress of the US leader in clean energy and emissions regulation.