AB 32, California's landmark climate legislation, will hold polluters accountable and require them to reduce the air pollution that continues to not only threaten our health but also contributes to global climate change. This law has been instrumental in launching our state as the superstar of the clean technology industry -- igniting innovation and clean energy businesses that have created thousands of new jobs for Californians.
But an opposition force bought and paid for by Texas Big Oil, is attempting to stop all this by pushing a deceptive ballot proposition that will allow polluters to turn a blind eye to clean energy standards, destroy jobs from California's clean technology companies, and keep us addicted to fossil fuels.
The out of state, big oil opposition is spending millions in it's attempt to cover the facts behind it's layer of smog and deceit, but the reality is that suspending AB 32 is the real mistake threatening our health, our economy, and the future of our state. We need your help in revealing the truth so that California knows the danger that lies in the campaign to kill AB 32.
Who's behind it all?
Two Texas oil companies, Valero Energy Corporation and Tesoro, are the main funders of the ballot proposition.
These two companies are among the nation's biggest polluters, and their California oil refineries are among the top ten polluters in our state. The Valero Political Action Committee is a leading political contributor to dirty energy interests nationally.
While Valero and Tesoro claim their proposition will only 'suspend" AB 32 until California's economy gets better, the truth is that this suspension will kill new jobs and investment.
FACT: The proposition would create more air pollution in California, threaten public health and worsen the climate gap.
Air pollution is already a major threat to public health in California, contributing to 19,000 premature deaths, hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks and thousands of trips to the hospital for California families.
This initiative would let the Texas oil companies and other polluters off the hook - drastically increasing air pollution and public health risks.
FACT: The proposition will kill clean energy and technology jobs, end innovation and billions of dollars of investment in California - bringing our chances to become the nation's clean energy and technology leader to a screeching halt.
The Texas oil companies want California to continue to be addicted to oil and are eager to kill any competition from clean energy business that would reduce this dependence on fossil fuels.
But the clean energy sector is one of the few bright spots in our recovering economy, and rolling back our clean energy standards will cause California to lose hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investments.
Since 2005, California green jobs have grown 10 times faster than the statewide average for other sectors.
The number of California green businesses has increased by 45% and green jobs expanded by 36% from 1995 to 2008 while total jobs in California expanded only 13%.
California's clean technology sector received $2.1 billion in investment capital in 2009 - beating out the investment in Massachusetts, our biggest competitor, by a factor of five.
FACT: Projections of economic destruction resulting from AB 32 have been thoroughly invalidated and disproved by independent economists and the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO).
The opposition clings to studies that the LAO has evaluated and determined as containing "a number of serious shortcomings that render its estimates of the annual economic costs of state regulations essentially useless."
Stanford University economist Jim Sweeney stated the following in his report on the Varshney/Tootelian study: "highly biased...based on poor logic and unsound economic analysis" and overstates the costs of AB 32 "by a factor of at least 10".
Beacon Economics' Christopher Thornberg and Jon Haveman deemed the study "one of the worst examples of schlock science we've ever seen."
FACT: The proposition will increase both our dependence on foreign oil and costs for California consumers.
Killing AB 32, and thus keeping us dependent on fossil fuels, will increase household electricity costs in California by 33%.
Suspending climate policies will also cause California's economy will shrink by $84 billion, over a half million jobs in 2020.
FACT: The proposition would mean that we would continue to destroy our environment.
If we don't do something to cut emissions, "average U.S. temperatures...are projected to rise another 7°F to 11°F by the end of this century". To be clear, this seemingly minor increase in temperature is expected to cause the following:
"Annual heat-related health costs could reach an estimated $14 billion by 2100, while rising ground-level ozone levels would boost medical bills by another $10 billion", states the Union of Concerned Scientists report.
A reduction of up to 90 percent of the Sierra snowpack - which would take away a crucial source of the state's water supply and annual losses to state agriculture, forestry and fisheries reaching $4.3 billion.
According to a report from the California Climate Change Center at the UC-Berkeley, "a 75 to 85 percent increase in the number of days conducive to ozone formation [smog] in Los Angeles and the San Joaquin Valley".
An increase in annual large wildfires by as much as 53 percent by 2100.
You get the picture. You got the facts. Now please get in action, and nip this weed of a campaign in the bud.
Follow Nathan Havey on Twitter: www.twitter.com/nhavey