Steam building up against California's anti-global warming laws

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Smoke rises around towers at a Tosco oil refinery at sunset after a fire burning as hot as 2,000 degrees Farenheit melted steel and sent a huge cloud of toxic smoke across the urban landscape, April 23, 2001 in Carson, CA, 15 miles south of Los Angeles.

Two Texas-based oil companies are supporting a campaign to suspend California's landmark anti-global warming laws.

Valero and Tesoro own and operate refineries in California that would have to slash their greenhouse gas emissions under the law.

Republican, independent and pro-business political interests have launched campaigns to slow or suspend requirements and deadlines for carbon polluters until the state's unemployment rate significantly drops.

Neither of the oil companies has confirmed reports from several sources that they're involved in the fledgling campaigns.

But both companies have actively lobbied against federal climate legislation and other similar state laws.

Republican lawmakers and an anti-tax group are among the proposal's high profile sponsors. Backers started to collect signatures this week. They've got until late next month to gather almost half a million verified signatures – that would qualify the measure for the November ballot.

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