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PROP
23
Suspend pollution control laws until unemployment falls below 5.5%

Would suspend the implementation of AB 32, the Global Warming Act of 2006, until California's unemployment rate drops to 5.5% or below for four consecutive quarters. AB 32 requires that greenhouse gas emission levels in the state be cut to 1990 levels by 2020 through a comprehensive greenhouse-gas-reduction program that includes increased renewable energy and cleaner fuel requirements, and mandatory emission reporting and fee requirements for major polluters such as power plants and oil refineries. The process of cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the state is slated under AB 32 to begin in 2012.

Official Election Results:

Yes: 3,733,883 [38.4%]
No: 5,974,564 [61.6%]

Pro / Con

PRO 

Supporters say that Proposition 23 saves jobs, prevents energy tax increases, and helps families, while preserving California’s clean air and water laws.

Supporters

Yes on 23 [Website archived in Internet Archive]

Suspend AB32 [Website archived in Internet Archive]

CON 

Opponents say that Prop. 23 threatens public health with more air pollution, increases dependence on costly oil, and kills competition and jobs from California's emerging clean technology companies.

Opponents

No on 23 - Californians to Stop the Dirty Energy Proposition [Website archived in Internet Archive]

Communities United Against the Dirty Energy Prop [Website archived in Internet Archive]

League of Women Voters of California

California Teachers Association

California Nurses Association

California Professional Firefighters

California Interfaith Power & Light

Polling

Polling

Field Poll # 2365, October 31, 2010 “The latest survey finds the initiative trailing by fifteen points (48% to 33%), similar to deficits of twelve and eleven points found in July and September.”

USC/Los Angeles Times Frequency Questionnaire, October 13-20, 2010
“Proposition 23 would suspend implementation of California's air pollution control law requiring major sources of emissions to report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, until unemployment drops to 5.5 percent or less for a full year. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 23?”

Reuters: Political Polling in California: Wave 2, October 2-4, 2010
” Would you vote in favor or against Proposition 23?”

PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and their Government, October 2010
“Proposition 23 is called the ‘Suspends Implementation of Air Pollution Control Law (AB 32) Requiring Major Sources of Emissions to Report and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions That Cause Global Warming, Until Unemployment Drops to 5.5 Percent or Less for Full Year. Initiative Statute.’ If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 23?”


PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and their Government, September 2010
“Proposition 23 is called the ‘Suspends Implementation of Air Pollution Control Law (AB 32) Requiring Major Sources of Emissions to Report and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions That Cause Global Warming, Until Unemployment Drops to 5.5 Percent or Less for Full Year. Initiative Statute.’ If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 23?”

Field Poll # 2356, September 26, 2010
“Voters continue to oppose Proposition 23, the initiative to suspend AB32, the state’s greenhouse gas reduction law until the state's unemployment rate drops below 5.5%. Opponents currently outnumber supporters by eleven points 45% to 34%, similar to twelve-point deficit in July.”

USC/Los Angeles Times Frequency Questionnaire, September 15-22, 2010
“As you may know, in the election in November, there will be a ballot proposition that, if passed, would suspend the state law aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions until the state's unemployment rate falls below five and a half percent. Do you favor or oppose passing this ballot initiative?”

PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and the Environment, July 2010

“As they did last year, two in three Californians (67%) favor the state law (AB 32) requiring California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions back to 1990 levels by the year 2020.”

In-Depth

In-Depth

California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, better known as AB 32, was signed into law by Gov. Schwarzenegger in 2006. AB 32 requires California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, a drop of about 15 percent from current levels. If passed, Proposition 23 would halt the implementation and operation of AB 32 until state unemployment rates remain at or below 5.5 percent for four consecutive quarters. That level has been reached three times since the state began compiling these statistics in 1976. The measure would suspend regulations already adopted under AB 32 and would also prohibit state agencies from continuing to adopt new regulations and related directives.

pollution

While Proposition 23 would suspend the Global Warming Solutions Act and its existing regulations, it does not push back or otherwise delay the 2020 aggregate greenhouse gas reduction target contained in AB 32. If Proposition 23 were to pass, the binding target of achieving 1990 greenhouse gas emissions levels by 2020 would become effective again once the suspension is removed. In effect, Proposition 23 would reduce the amount of time that businesses, local governments, and state agencies have to achieve the emissions reductions required by AB 32. They would face the same deadline, but the implementation period would be substantially shortened. Because Proposition 23 ties the end of the suspension to unemployment rates, it is unknown when the AB 32 suspension would be lifted, if ever.

Two Texas oil companies, Valero and Tesoro, provided much of the funding to qualify Proposition 23 for the ballot. Environmental groups and Silicon Valley technology companies and investors are leading the opposition.

In July 2010, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association filed a lawsuit alleging that the state attorney general's office used misleading and biased wording in the proposition's ballot description. On August 3, 2010, Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, and ordered the wording changed.

The original ballot label was written as follows:
"Suspends air pollution control laws requiring major polluters to report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, until unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent or less for full year."
The revised description says:
"Suspends implementation of air pollution control law (AB 32) requiring major sources of emissions to report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, until unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent or less for full year."

Voter Resources

Voter Resources

Official CA Documents

Official Voter Information Guide

Campaign Finance Information

Cal-Access General
Committees formed to support or oppose the ballot measure

Cal-Access Ballot Measure Summary Data Search
Select General 02 November 2010 and Proposition 023.
Cal-Access provides financial information supplied by state candidates, donors, lobbyists, and others.

Nonpartisan Analyses

Ballotpedia

Pros & Cons (League of Women Voters)

Reports and Studies

Prospective Employment Effects of California Proposition 23: A two-stage least squares and simulation analysis for 2010-2020, Benjamin Zycher, Pacific Research Institute, October 2010.

Shockproofing Society: How California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) Reduces the Economic Pain of Energy Price Shock, James Fine, Chris Busch, Remy Garderet, September 2010.

California at the Crossroads: Proposition 23, AB 32, and Climate Change: Proposition 23, AB 32,AND climate change, Ethan Elkind, Daniel Farber, Richard Frank, Michael Hanemann,Daniel Kammen, Anna Kantenbacher, and Steven Weissman, U.C. Berkeley School of Law’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment, September 2010.

The Toxic Twins: Duo Behind Environmental Rollback Are Two of California’s Biggest Sources of Deadly Chemicals, Ella Baker Center and the California Environmental Justice Alliance, August 2010.
[Archived in the Internet Archive]

Addressing The Employment Impacts Of Ab 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, Carol Zabin, Ph.D, Andrea Buffa, UC Berkeley Center For Labor Research And Education Policy Brief, University of California, Berkeley, February 2009.

California's Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006: A Background Paper for Labor Unions, Andrea Buffa, Carol Zabin, Cheryl Brown, Dave Graham-Squire, University of California, Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, August 2008.

Multimedia

Multimedia

Supporters

Opponents

Non-partisan

Endorsements

Endorsements
News and Opinion
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