October 28, 2010
CA's Prop 23 and Economic ArmageddonBy Nancy J. Thorner
Californians are about to vote on Proposition 23 to suspend enforcement of "The California Global Warming Solutions," also know as AB (Assembly Bill) 32. AB 32 was signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on September 27, 2006, and mandates the following:
1. Reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
2. Producing one-third of the state's electricity from renewable sources of energy by 2020.
The intent of Prop 23 is to delay the implementation of AB 32 until unemployment levels in California drop to 5.5 percent or less over four consecutive quarters.
It is not surprising that President Barack Obama and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore have come out against Prop 23. Gore has been promoting for the past several years his doomsday scenario of terrible, catastrophic happenings unless the world deals with the underlying causes of global warming.
Working hard in California to defeat Prop 23 are officials in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. This consortium has already given more than $28 million to defeat Prop 23. For them, it represents profits and capturing international business ventures in the green sector such as solar power, electric cars, and efficient home lighting.
The group, "Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs," was formed specifically to oppose Prop 23. George Shultz, who served as secretary of state during the Reagan administration, was appointed as the honorary co-chairman of the group.
"Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs" lists the following reasons for opposing Prop 23 and favoring the implementation of AB 32:
1. Prop 23 is a deterrent to finding alternatives to oil to limit dependence on Middle Eastern countries.
2. AB 32 will create "clean-tech" jobs.
3/ Prop 23 is a polluter's dream and will lead to more air pollution, increased health risks, and global warming.
Each of the above stated reasons is beset with flaws.
According to a U.S. Geological Survey assessment released in April of this year, the report shows a 25-fold increase in the amount of oil that can be recovered compared to the agency's 1995 estimate of 151 millions barrels of oil.
This nation has plenty of recoverable oil, but it has been declared off-limits to drilling, etc. by a government that is pushing green sources of power and which has declared that CO2 produced by fossil fuels is a pollutant and the cause of man-made global warming.
Will AB 32 really create "clean-tech" jobs? A posting by Michelle Malkin on April 13, 2009 relates a study by Dr. Gabriel Calzada, an economic professor at Juan Carlos University in Madrid. According to Dr. Calzada, "Every green job with government money in Spain over the last eight years came at the cost of 2.2 regular jobs, and only one in 10 of the newly created green jobs became permanent jobs." Calzada's study also related "that the U.S. should expect results similar to those in Spain."
Spain's green initiative was used by President Obama as a blueprint for how this nation should use federal funds to stimulate the economy. Obama's economic stimulus package, which Congress passed in February of this year, allocated billions of dollars to the green jobs industry.
Regarding air pollution, California already has the toughest environmental laws in this nation. Prop 23 wouldn't weaken or repeal the hundreds of laws in CA which already protect the environment, reduce air pollution, and protect public health.
Given that AB 32 would impose on Californians and the state more harm than good, why the expensive and heated campaign to convince Californians to vote down Prop 23, which would actually benefit the people and the state?
Dr. Robert J. Michaels, Professor of Economics at California State University at Fullerton, senior Fellow at the Institute for Energy Research, Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute, and an independent consultant, suggested in a recently published sixty-five page document titled "California's Climate Policy: The Present and Future of AB 32" that political promises are being made by politicians to convince Californians that a rejection of Prop 23 would give their state the moral and economic high ground in the battle against carbon.
Further stated by Dr. Michaels in his comprehensive report: "By the state's own estimates, the market for green workers is negligible, and California's historically aggressive environment policies haves left it with no greener a job picture than most other states" (Californias-Climate-Policy.pdf).
Californians must overwhelmingly vote "yes" on Prop 23 to save the state from continued loss of businesses and jobs and consequent financial ruination. The nation will be watching as Californians vote on Tuesday, November 2. Will voters elect to avoid economic Armageddon? A rejection of Prop 23 on November 2 will only encourage states like Illinois, with unreasonable and unrealistic green energy policies, to continue down the primrose path.