This November, private interests could take our environment hostage. Will you let them?
Proposition 23 is arguably the biggest environmental battle this country has ever seen. While we have come a long way from steam power and coal furnaces, California is the nation’s leader in the energy technology of our future, and we need to protect our renewable energy industry and the environment.
Two Texas oil companies, Valero and Tesoro, are significantly funding this dirty energy proposition to loosen restrictions on energy emissions allowing them to make more money and pollute our air without limits.
According to the state attorney general’s Web site, Proposition 23 will suspend state law AB 32, which requires greenhouse gas emissions be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020, until California’s unemployment drops to 5.5 percent or less for four consecutive quarters.
It also will suspend a comprehensive greenhouse-gas-reduction program that includes increased renewable energy and cleaner fuel requirements, and mandatory emissions reporting and fee requirements for major emissions sources such as power plants and oil refineries.
Interestingly, both Republican and Democratic candidates, Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown, are listed under the “coalitions” tab of the “No on 23” Web site as individuals opposed to this proposition. If the future governor of our state does not want this proposition to be written into law, how can we ignore this bipartisan effort to stop the dirty energy prop.?
The results of this proposition passing would be increased air pollution from greenhouse gases and oil emissions. It would also cripple our clean energy industry and reduce California’s edge as a national leader in green technology. According to the Renewable Energy Policy Network, “renewable energy installations outpaced fossil fuel installations in 2009 in both Europe and the U.S.” Their study indicated that the renewable energy sector is actually helping reduce the unemployment rate in California by providing more jobs than the oil industry.
The above language of the proposition and study begs the question: Why is unemployment linked to the suspension of a law that cuts down on the amount pollutions from gasoline and other sources of greenhouse gases, especially given the fact that the renewable energy sector has been creating jobs over time?
The short answer to this question is that private interests are more interested in money than our environmental and clean energy future. To protect their own bottom line, these Texas oil companies have been spreading campaign ads to deceive voters about the harm that will be caused if Prop. 23 is allowed to pass. Their arguments have been criticized by the Air and Resources Board as “flawed conclusions from a discredited study that has been roundly criticized by reputable economists.”
So what can we do?
There are many answers to that question, but first and foremost, register to vote and vote “no” on 23 on Nov. 2. Students and young voters have consistently been ignored by politicians and it is time for us to take a stand in solidarity against this dirty energy proposition.
If you are unconvinced by the arguments above or simply want to learn more about this issue, come to Environmental Affairs Board’s Fall Convergence from Oct. 15-17 here at UCSB. The California Student Sustainability Coalition holds a biannual convergence to discuss issues relevant to students and the environment. To learn more go to www.as.ucsb.edu/eab.
Finally, if you are as upset as I am that corporations are trying to take over our system of direct creation of democratic legislation, join us in protest this Friday, Oct. 8. CALPIRG, Green Corps and other environmentally conscious groups on campus and within the Santa Barbara community will be riding en masse to a local Valero station to protest Prop. 23 and tell voters to vote “no” on Prop. 23 Nov. 2. Join us at 4 p.m. at Pardall Tunnel and be sure to bring your bike and your voice.
For more information on Prop. 23 and other election issues this fall visit www.calpirgstudents.org/ucsb.
The California Jobs Initiative (CJI) is an oil corporation farce and fraud. There is no connection, whatsoever, between greenhouse gas emission reduction and the loss of jobs. This notion is an insult to the intelligence of the people of California. In fact, there is job growth in the clean, renewable energy industry. Chevron employs 65,000 worldwide and CJI is not going to change this. The only jobs created by the oil industry are clean-up jobs after oil spills and deep water, blow-outs and pump-handler jobs. CJI will make fantastic profits for the oil industry, increase air pollution, especially in communities… Read more »
Actually, the job losses from full implementation of AB 32 as currently proposed will be due to increased energy costs to businesses, large and small. While the “green jobs” sector has experienced job growth, it is minute compared to the rest of the economy, less than 1% of California jobs. If those jobs depend on government help to exist, then it is very imprudent to depend on them for long term economic growth. The current green tech sector of the economy is growing, and will create thousands of jobs in the future. However, wind and solar energy is currently way… Read more »
Points to ponder on AB 32: ° Sacramento State University reports estimated cost of $3734 per year per family due strictly to this AB 32. ° CARB has admitted that California alone cannot have an inpact on reducing global warming and CO2 emissions. ° US EPA acknowledges that US action alone will not impact the world CO2 levels; ° US EPA (11 July 2010) said that bills in Congress will not reduce the total use of gas and oil of 20 million gallons per day for decades. ° LAO (CA Legislative Analyst Office) stated: CA economy at large will be… Read more »
So silly. The gratuitous use of “Texas oil companies” as if it’s commonly understood they’re a villian. Yes, they refine oil into gasoline and jet fuel. I assume you skateboard, and everything you need is on campus. The last paragraph, though is plain scary–“Finally, if you are as upset as I am that corporations are trying to take over our system of direct creation of democratic legislation…” You’d like to dictate who can speak, is that right? That didn’t work too well for Stalin, they let him die in dirty underpants and exiled him from Lenin’s tomb after they finally… Read more »
@Wayne: Wayne, A quick Google search shows that you’ve posted the identical response 13 times to various stories on Prop 23. Casual reader or paid shill? Yes, I thought so.