Larry Mantle

California's greenhouse gas law targeted by proposed ballot initiative

Monday morning's "AirTalk" featured a debate on the greenhouse gas emissions rollback (AB 32) signed into law four years ago. AB 32's supporters claim it will not only set an example for the rest of country, but spur the in-state development of green technologies that could create jobs and expand our local economic base.

However, opponents of the measure are gathering signatures for a November initiative that would shelve AB 32 until unemployment drops below 5.5-percent for four consecutive quarters. Supporters of AB 32 say that would essentially do away with the greenhouse gas limits, given the state's historic unemployment levels. Opponents of AB 32 say unemployment is way too high to add the law's burden on California businesses.

Several newspapers in the state report the Valero and Tesoro oil companies are the funders of the signature-gathering effort. The two companies are based in Texas, but have significant presences in California. Oil companies are also undoubtedly concerned about the prospect that more states could adopt such restrictions on emissions.

What do you think? Will implementation of AB 32 lead to job losses or more jobs? Monday's guests cited dueling studies on AB 32's costs to businesses. Which argument was more compelling to you?

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