Poll shows Proposition 23 losing support in California


A recent Field Poll has shown that California’s Proposition 23 is losing support in the polls.

Proposition 23 would suspend the implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act — AB 32 — until California unemployment is down to 5.5 percent.

The latest polls show 45 percent of voters oppose the proposition, with only 34 supporting it.

The proposition was introduced by Texas oil giants Valero and Tesoro, along with a refinery owned by billionaires Charles and David Koch. It would suspend the state law that requires greenhouse gas emissions be reduced to levels they were at in 1990 by the year 2020.

The proposition has found little support in California. Democrats are overwhelmingly against it and Republicans seem divided on the issue.

Though Republican Carly Fiorina has voiced her support for Proposition 23, Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman has said she opposes it, preferring a one-year moratorium instead of completely doing away with the clean energy bill.

“Climate change is going to get worse fast,” said Mark Bernstein, managing director of the USC Energy Institute. “[Students] are young enough to see that. If Prop 23 passes, in the near-term, there’ll be less opportunities for doing things that are green.”

Bernstein added that green technology is the only job industry currently expanding in the state.

“Where are the jobs going to be when you guys graduate? The only sector that is growing is green technologies,” Bernstein said. “That’s where the jobs are. And it’s only there because the government is putting it in place.”

Campus activist groups also oppose the proposition and protested at Valero gas stations across the state.

“Clean energy is our future,” said Ryan Waters, campaign coordinator of the No On Prop 23 CALPIRG chapter at USC. “We need to do everything we can to make sure California is a leader in clean energy and clean technology.”

Proponents of Proposition 23 say it will cost money to implement AB 32, which is set to start in 2012.

According to arguments made in favor of the proposition in the California Voter Guide, “AB 32 will cause California households to face higher prices both directly for electricity, natural gas and gasoline, and indirectly as businesses pass costs for [greenhouse gas] reduction on to consumers.”

But Bernstein said the long-term costs are nothing compared to the ultimate benefits of AB 32.

“Will it cost us? In the long-term, maybe,” Bernstein said. “But by the time we get out there, technology will improve and it probably won’t cost us anything. The benefits in the near-term significantly outweigh the costs.”

Micah Scheindlin, political director of USC College Democrats, agreed.

“Their arguments regarding revenue are wholly wrong,” Scheindlin said. “If anything, passing Proposition 23 would stunt the growth of California’s green tech economy and therefore cost the state revenue.”

The proposition’s opponents include The League of Women’s Voters and liberal college groups including California College Democrats.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also opposes the proposition, having originally signed AB 32 into legislation in 2006.

“The effort to suspend AB 32 is the work of greedy oil companies who want to keep polluting in our state and making profits,” Schwarzenegger said after the measure qualified for the November ballot.

Two advocacy groups, the Courage Campaign and CREDO Action, have called for a boycott of Valero and Beacon gas stations in order to punish Valero for providing financial sponsorship of the initiative.

In the end, Bernstein said, students’ futures are in their hands.

“[AB 32] is not overcoming the jobless rate yet, but it’s getting there,” Bernstein said. “I really want the students to get out and vote.”

  • Dr. John

    The voters in California continue to demonstrate that they are the most ignorant creature on earth! The information used to pass ab32 and guide the CARB is bogus. It amazes me that Califonians continue to support this policy when it kills jobs. The notion of green jobs is a ruse… will not happen. California loses.

  • NOBAMA

    What a bunch of dunderheads. WHERE ARE ALL THESE “GREEN” JOBS???????? Hey, give me some of that KoolAid.

  • Randy

    I can’t wait until Prop 23 fails. All the people yipping about clean air are usually poor students and ex-hippies who will be hit the hardest by energy price increases. As far as all the green jobs..yeah right, they will be created, IN CHINA. You really think some company is going to produce solar panels in California’s business climate? How long will that last without Government subsidies? All this talk about “being the global leader in clean air and energy”is ideological crap. THE WHOLE REST OF THE WORLD WOULD HAVE TO GET ON BOARD TO MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE. Good luck convincing China, the Soviet Union, and India to name a few to change. A good business person knows how to pick his/her battles.

    The people of California never fail to amaze me. We have had a Democratic controlled legislature and 2 Democratic senators since the 90’s and look where we are. Some of the highest unemployment in the country, the highest or nearly the highest taxes in every category. Ridiculous car registration fees, along with some of the highest fees in the country for just about everything else. Our gas prices are some of the highest in the country. We have 9% of the U.S. population, yet have 33% of the welfare expense. Illegal immigration is running amok. I would bet half of the children in the L.A. unified school district at this point are anchor babies. (I remember mobile clinic quite well in dental school..went to USC myself). Businesses are leaving California in Droves, and when energy prices and other restrictions increase it is only going to get worse.
    Fortunately, as a dentist I can work anywhere. However, for those of you planning to stay in this state, you need to get off your high ideological horses and start facing reality. This green industry so many of you think will materialize will be far overshadowed by other job losses. It is going to be you and 30 other people competing for every job soon. Actually, that’s already the case…its only going to get worse.

  • DoctorDave

    Thank God that I do not live in California. To vote NO on Proposition 23 is akin to drinking the koolaid provided by Jim Jones.

    • jared

      Really doctor dave? Really? I’m glad you don’t live in california either. Stick to areas where critical thinking and fact checking is discouraged. Allow California to provide the intelligent solutions that the rest of the country will soon follow.

      • Randy

        The U.S. could go to zero emissions and it would not make a difference the way other nations are building up.

    • leonardo

      Doctor Dave thank God you don’t live here, Stay in you trailer

  • JimBob

    My Dog, people, does EVERYTHING have to be about money? Heavens, it’s going to cost me more to run my vacuum cleaner, so I guess kids in the future should just breathe smog! How do these people who whine about a little more cost justify their existence on this planet??

    • Randy

      An incredibly over simplified viewpoint you have there.

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    Don’t we want to make pot legal?

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  • Ron

    92% of funding for Yes on 23 comes from oil; 71% comes from out of Calif. So WTF are oil and out-of-state interests supporting 23? Ans: $$$

    Yes on 23 claims it will save 1 million jobs; Calif labor says the opposite. I’m inclined to distrust big oil.

  • dP

    The issue with Prop 23 is the clause for 5.5% unemployment rate. Considering that the natural unemployment rate is usually thought of being close to 6%, there is little possibility that the bill would ever be repealed. That clause is merely put in there to snake its way through for people who ultimately want to defend the environment but hold a higher priority for the economy–without realizing that the environment isn’t even a factor for this proposition at all.

    • Joe

      Sounds a lot like the PG&E Monopoly act in 2008. “Sure you can go into the power business..it just will take a 2/3 impossible super-majority.” They called that one the “voters rights” bill. It was a sham. I can’t stand corporate meddling with our affairs any longer. How is this legal? I have an idea. Lets pass a the “FU” bill, which bars any corporate donations to political campaigns in California. Get these greedy a&&holes out of our state politics.

  • AB32 is a tax on energy production. We already have plenty of taxes, we don’t need another one.

    • Joe

      For short-sighted people such as yourself, that’s what it is. But it benefits green tech by making it more cost-effective and cost-competitive. So its a give and take. But typical conservatives like you can only see short-term. If people like you ruled the world, no one would ever invest in anything without an immediate payoff. We’d be living in the stone age.

      • Smart Guy 1

        Can I get the legistlature to tax my compitition so my overpriced, unproven product can be”Cost-Effective and Cost-competitive”. Someday you will grow up but by then it will be too late to crawl out from under the foot of a government completely running your life and ditacting your thought.

  • Wayne

    No surprising with all the lies and misleading advertising that the no on 23 campaign is spreading.

    The enforcement of AB 32 will cause an economic disaster for California that will keep other states from passing such legislation, and probably do more harm for the cause than it will help the environment.

    Points to ponder on AB 32 / Prop 23:

    ° AB 32 is not a pollution law, it is a global warming law, but it won’t have any effect on global warming.

    ° Prop 23, in spite of fear-mongering by opponents, does not repeal any clean-air laws. It does not increase local pollution.

    ° CARB over-estimated diesel emmisions by 340%. What else have they over-estimated?

    ° Key CARB personnel caught lying about credentials and then failing to reveal this after it is discovered internally before AB 32 passed, until after AB 32 passed. What else are they lying about and with-holding?

    ° Sacramento State University reports estimated cost of $3734 per year per family due strictly to AB 32.

    ° CARB has admitted that California alone cannot have an impact on reducing global warming and CO2 emissions.

    ° US EPA acknowledges that US action alone will not impact the world CO2 levels;

    ° US EPA (11 July 2010) said that bills in Congress will not reduce the total use of gas and oil of 20 million gallons per day for decades.

    ° LAO (CA Legislative Analyst Office) stated: CA economy at large will be adversely affected by implementation of climate-related policies that are not in place elsewhere. (Letter to Dan Logue, 13 May 2010)

    ° Even CARB’s own economic experts have recognized the fact that jobs will be lost because of AB 32. In fact, they recommend establishing a “Worker Transition Program” to provide assistance to people who lose their jobs because of AB 32 regulations.

    ° AB 32 does nothing for local pollution, nor does Proposition 23 do anything to increase local pollution.

    When the loudest objections to any candidacy or initiative are focused on vilifying its financial backers, this often indicates that its opponents’ arguments on its merits are weak.

    Vote yes on Prop 23 and suspend AB32.

    • josh

      wow nice copy and pasting, this same exact post is on many more websites, go away troll your post is irrelivent

  • Earl Richards

    The California Jobs Initiative (CJI) is an oil corporation farce and fraud. There is no connection, whatsoever, between greenhouse gas emission reduction and the loss of jobs. This notion is an insult to the intelligence of the people of California. In fact, there is job growth in the clean, renewable energy industry. Chevron employs 65,000 worldwide and CJI is not going to change this. The only jobs created by the oil industry are clean-up jobs after oil spills and deep water, blow-outs and pump-handler jobs jobs. CJI will make fantastic profits for the oil industry, increase air pollution, especially in communities around their refineries and there will not be lower gas prices. Koch Industries, Valero and Tesoro are super Enrons. Since when did the oil companies start to show any concern for the unemployed and their families and for small businesses?

    • Joesph

      I’m just curious what business it is that you own/operate? Of course more regulation and higher energy cost will have an affect on jobs. Lets face it, if there were money to be made in this “green energy” sector don’t you think entrepreneurs would be jumping all over this. They would be happy to put money up front to get a return later. But, unlike you, they understand California’s anti-business climate and aren’t going near it with a ten foot pole. Any manufacturing jobs will quickly be outsourced overseas. So, sit and hold your breath waiting for those jobs to materialize.

  • Nathan

    Why doesn’t this article bother to interview any student activists who support Prop. 23? With tens of thousands of USC students you really couldn’t find even one that supports Prop. 23? You also use just one poll to show that Prop. 23 has “little support in California,” but you fail to mention two polls in the last couple of weeks that show Prop. 23 ahead – the PPIC poll and the Los Angeles Times poll. In fact, the PPIC poll found Prop. 23’s strongest support was from young people. I for one support jobs and the economy, not billions in new energy taxes on an expensive law that other states are smart enough to know is a bad idea during this recession.