A friend and I were driving to Fresno yesterday morning when I received a very welcome
message on my blackberry: Meg Whitman has come out against Proposition 23.
Everyone who opposes Proposition 23 had to cheer -- and be cheered by -- that news.
Now both Whitman and Brown have officially voiced their opposition to this
environmentally harmful proposition.
Obviously, it was a tough political decision for Whitman, whatever her convictions may
be. She's been under pressure to support Prop 23 from a divisive sect of climate change
skeptics, and at the same time she must want to maintain an image consistent with the
progressive values of the California majority.
But regardless of any complications, I'm thrilled that Whitman has seen past multimillion dollar propaganda and is supporting what's right for California's environment
and green economy.
That being said, I don't agree with her position on AB32, the underlying emission's law
that Prop. 23 would roll back. In her official statement today, she reiterated her desire for
a one-year moratorium on AB32 and called the law a "job killer."
I believe this would be a step in the wrong direction. For decades, California's been a
leader in the fight for a cleaner environment. And right now we're on the cusp of a green
energy revolution that can create more jobs for Californians. (That's on top of the
estimated 500,000 green technology jobs already employing citizens of the state.) So to
call AB32 a "job killer" is not just wrong-headed, it's also dangerous.
Business people often criticize environmental regulation and claim it will cost jobs. They
say it's "impossible" to comply with. Or they "can't afford" not to pollute. I would think
that Meg Whitman -- who touts herself as a technology entrepreneur and visionary --
would be able to see past this old, false choice.
That's why I decided to dedicate myself to convincing people to vote "no" on Proposition
23 this November. I got mad that we as Californians were being attacked by this same
defeatist, pessimistic rhetoric: because the clean energy economy is not only about
creating a better living environment, it's about creating a better economic environment.
The sooner we get past the outdated "jobs vs. the environment" debate the better off we
are going to be on both fronts. We have 40 days till the election. Make sure to tell your
friends -- vote No on Prop 23.
Follow Tom Steyer on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TomSteyer