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California’s Landmark Greenhouse Gas Law Comes Under Attack

'There’s One Agenda Here: To Kill Our Attempt to Have a Clean Energy Economy'

By Leslie Berliant

Feb 18, 2010

There is also a serious question of whether the opposition to AB 32 has the funds to move forward with the initiative, although Logue claims to have $600,000 committed for the signature-gathering effort. Costa The New York Times last week that the effort desperately needed cash. Maviglio says that they won’t likely be able to raise money until they have polls using the “Suspends Air Pollution Control Laws” name that show that the measure will get some public support.

California’s utilities are staying neutral on the initiative for now, and no businesses have stepped forward publicly to fund the signature gathering campaign. Jonathan Parfrey, Director of GREEN LA Institute believes that companies are staying away because they realize that any company that funds the suspension effort will face retribution in the market place.

“What company wants to put its name out there as the poster child for environmentalists to go after?” Parfrey asks. “Any company that funds this effort will be a target and there will be boycotts against these companies that will be very popular.”

On the other hand, many businesses have committed support to AB 32, including 900 members of the .

Susan Frank, who manages the Alliance, explains that its members see great economic opportunity in the implementation of AB 32.

“AB 32 hasn’t been implemented yet, so suggesting that the economy is as bad as it is because of AB 32 is a false claim,” says Frank. “But it has already stimulated the green economy. Companies are coming to California because of the promise of AB 32. In fact, the only part of the California economy growing right now is the green economy.”

Schwarzenegger has echoed these sentiments, saying that the green sector is growing 10 times faster than the rest of California’s economy.

Arguments by opponents that AB 32 actually kills jobs and harms the California economy are nothing new, Maviglio says.

“When California changed its energy standards 30 years ago, we heard the same Chicken Little cry about unemployment,” Maviglio says, “but it has ended up saving every household $450 a year and creates thousands of jobs. California is always pioneering and that’s why we have the competitive edge in the clean energy economy that we do.”

Taking the Threat Seriously

While they don't think that McClintock, Logue and Costa have the funds to pull off a successful signature gathering campaign, supporters of AB 32 are not taking chances.

“We are taking this seriously and in full strategic mode,” says Steve Maviglio, “and we are lining up commitments ourselves.”

Even though Jonathan Parfrey doesn’t believe the ballot initiative will be successful either, he is concerned that threats to AB 32 being implemented are not going away.

“These people against AB 32 have an old world view of the economy, a view that hasn’t worked,” says Parfrey. “Why are we consigning ourselves to future poverty by following the ways of the past?”

Steve Westly, a venture capitalist and former state controller, puts it more starkly: “There is a vocal contingent within the conservative movement that will stop at nothing to kill AB 32.”


See also:

Study: Carbon Cap Has Little Impact on Small Businesses

California Launches Statewide Emissions Monitoring Program

California's Cap-and-Trade Plan Shies Away from Free Permits


(Photo: Office of the Governor of California)

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

We are very concerned with climate change is happening now. And we really hope the world's eyes open to realize it and overcoming early as possible.

Gore and UN IPCC

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