With corporate polluters having successfully blocked comprehensive energy and climate legislation in the U.S. Senate, it is more important than ever that we beat back this deceptive effort funded by Texas oil companies to kill California's clean energy economy.
We consider Proposition 23 the most important race in the country and have made defeating this dirty energy measure a priority this election cycle. LCV and the California League of Conservation Voters recently announced the unprecedented addition of Prop. 23 to the LCV 2010 Dirty Dozen list. LCV named the oil industry-funded ballot measure to its trademark Dirty Dozen program based on its attempted threat to California's landmark air pollution standards and leading clean energy industry. LCV and its sister organization LCV Education Fund have contributed $1.2 million so far to defeat this dirty energy measure.
President Obama has also stated his opposition to Prop. 23, noting that "oil companies and the other special interests are spending millions on a campaign to gut clean-air standards and clean-energy standards, jeopardizing the health and prosperity of this state."
The primary funders of Prop. 23 are Texas oil companies Valero and Tesoro, whose California oil refineries are among the top ten polluters in the state. Prop. 23 would let these Texas oil companies and other polluters off the hook -- drastically increasing air pollution and public health risks. Each year, California's air pollution crisis contributes to thousands of premature deaths, hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks, and thousands of trips to the hospital for California families.
Prop. 23 would also kill clean technology jobs, innovation and billions of dollars of investment in California. Since 2005, California clean energy jobs have grown ten times faster than the statewide average, with 500,000 employees currently working in the state's leading clean energy industries. California's clean technology sector received $9 billion cumulative venture capital investment from 2005-09, including $2.1 billion in 2009 alone.
This is the only election this fall where the issue of global warming is squarely on the ballot. If the voters of California reject this Big Oil attack on their health and their economy, it should give a major boost to the national effort to move us forward towards a clean energy future. That's why LCV is working with California LCV to mobilize our members in California and around the country to defeat Prop. 23.