Global Warming: Ballot initiative would curb California efforts

January 25, 2010 at 10:46 AM Leave a comment

So what happens if California delays the implementation of its landmark global warming law, Assembly Bill 32? The state’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office has done the math on Measure 94, a proposed ballot measure, and assessed the fallout. Its verdict?  The measure would cripple but not completely dismantle the state’s efforts to slash its greenhouse gas emissions; it could lead to bigger short-term profits for some businesses, but dampen investments in clean technology and green jobs.

The legislative analyst report, the first step in qualifying an initiative for the ballot, was sent to the California attorney general Tuesday. He has 15 days to give the initiative a title and a summary. Once that happens, proponents can begin gathering the 433,971 valid signatures required to place Measure 94 on the November ballot. An attorney general’s office staffer said that is likely to happen on Feb 3 or 4.  Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, an advocate for climate curbs, is unlikely to retain proponents’ current title: “California Jobs Initiative.”

AB 32, adopted in 2006, would require the state to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions — which mostly come from burning fossil fuels in power plants, factories and cars — to 1990 levels by 2020. That would be an effective cut of about 15% below today’s levels. The California Air Resources Board is expected to adopt a cap-and-trade program by the end of the year, which would limit the amount each industry can emit, but allow companies to buy and sell emissions credits to lower their costs.

Measure 94 would delay implementing the law until California’s unemployment drops to 5.5% for four consecutive quarters (two other versions in the pipeline would delay the law until joblessness sinks even lower). The state’s current unemployment rate is 12.4%. The measure is proposed by Assemblyman Dan Logue (R-Marysville), Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Granite Bay) and Ted Costa, of the People’s Advocate Initiative Committee (the anti-tax, Prop. 13 folks), and California tea-party activists.

The measure would suspend not only the proposed cap-and-trade program, but also rules that have already been adopted by the California Air Resources board, including a measure to slash the amount of carbon in gasoline and other fuels. That first-in-the-nation low-carbon fuel standard was adopted in April.

For full article click HERE

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Entry filed under: Conservation, Energy, National News. Tags: , , , , , .

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