AB 32 Stopper Headed for Ballot

It looks like there will be a measure on November’s statewide ballot to block full implementation of California’s greenhouse gas regulations.

Groups supporting the measure they call the “California Jobs Initiative” claim they gathered more than 800,000 signatures, nearly twice what they needed to qualify the proposal as a statewide referendum.

The existing climate law, known widely as AB 32, allows for the Governor to declare an emergency suspension of up to one year. But John Kabateck, who heads the California branch of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, says small businesses in particular can’t wait to see what the next governor might do; that the measure is needed to “stop the madness.” Kabateck said it’s time to “just push the pause button and please stop loading small businesses with new costs, new mandates and new regulations at a time when we need to crawl out of the hole.”

Studies have reached varying conclusions about what effect the state’s current regulatory path for carbon emissions would have on the California economy. Opponents of the measure have already formed their own campaign, trying to keep momentum behind the three-year-old climate law known as AB-32.

Steve Maviglio, who works for the the pro-AB 32 Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs, formed to oppose the ballot initiative, says he doesn’t think all those signatures necessarily signify broad support. “I think what that represents is the travesty of the initiative system and how out-of-state oil companies can buy their way onto the ballot,” he told me, in a telephone interview. The push to get the measure on the ballot has been financed largely by Texas-based oil companies and a somewhat obscure organization called the Adam Smith Foundation, based in Missouri.

“It took them $2 million to round up these signatures” said Maviglio. “And if you look at every single poll, you can see that Californians know we can have both clean air and a strong economy, and that we’re not going to be fooled by Texas oil companies,” he added.

The proposed ballot measure would freeze AB-32 until the state’s unemployment level dropped to five-and-a-half percent—or lower–for one full year. That’s something that’s happened only three times since the mid-1970’s: once in the late 1980s (for about ten quarters), a similar stretch in the late ‘90s, and once in 2005-06. After the deep recession of the early ‘80s, it took the state’s unemployment rate about four-and-a-half years to move from its 11% peak back to the 5.5 percent threshold.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today called the effort to halt AB-32 “the work of greedy oil companies.”

  • http://warming101.com Anna Haynes

    > “That’s something that’s happened only three times since the mid-1970’s: once in the late 1980s (for about ten quarters), a similar stretch in the late ‘90s, and once in 2005-06. ”

    Thanks for providing this info. Carolyn Said’s story in the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday got it wrong – saying 3 times in the last decade – but there’s been no response to my emails and the article hasn’t been corrected.
    (yet)

    • http://warming101.com Anna Haynes

      Got a nice email from journalist Said, who says the online story’s been fixed (albeit silently; it doesn’t seem to be marked as having been corrected) and a correction will run in tomorrow’s paper paper.
      Moral: beware of cellphone connections.
      (which has happened to me too)

      • Anna Haynes

        Updates: The correction did run in print (corrections are in the lower left corner of A2) and the online article is now marked as having been corrected (in bold, at bottom)

  • http://ncvoices.us Anna Haynes

    re “Studies have reached varying conclusions [link] about what effect the state’s current regulatory path for carbon emissions would have on the California economy. ” – anyone new to this should read that other KQED post and search for “seriously flawed”…or read the quotes in here -
    http://www.statehornet.com/news/varshney-study-discredited-1.1261951
    (“…so bad that if a freshman student handed this to me, I wouldn’t even give him an ‘F,’ I would call it incomplete and hand it back to them”…)

    • James Mayeau

      I can do you better Anna. There is a real time study of the economic effects of green legislation unfolding on the streets of Spain, Portugal, and Greece, for all the world to see.

      Fun assignment: Watch the talking heads popping on MSNBC as they try to spin welfare riots as being due to lack of government.

      • http://ncvoices.us Anna Haynes

        > “There is a real time study of the economic effects of green legislation unfolding on the streets of Spain, Portugal, and Greece, for all the world to see.”

        My recollection is that I’ve read that that study is of poor quality as well, but a quick google didn’t find a reference.

        Some “studies” are actually advertising; it depends on whether the funder is paying for a preordained conclusion. e.g. (from Sourcewatch):

        “…AEI was offering scientists and economists $10,000 each, “to undermine a major climate change report” from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). AEI asked for “articles that emphasise the shortcomings” of the IPCC report”

  • http://warming101.com Anna Haynes

    Craig, help out the confused here please, if you can.

    I’m looking at the Calif Sec of State page for contributions to the stop-AB32 initiative committee (link)
    - and depending on how I look, the Adam Smith Foundation either did or did not give $498,000 to the effort.
    This is not a small sum; it’d seem hard to overlook.

    If I select the “Contributions Received” display, ASF’s money doesn’t appear.

    If I select “Late and $5000+ Contributions Received”, it *does* appear.

    If I just select “Late”, no contributions appear.

    So it appears that ASF’s contribution is a “$5000+ contribution received”, but not a “contribution received”, which would seem to violate common sense. What am I missing? How can I get a display of *all* contributions received, w/o fear of counting some twice or some not at all?

    —–
    Caveats:
    Bug: the “download in Excel format” link on the SoS’s page actually downloads in *tab-delimited text* format, but gives the file a .xls suffix.

    (And it seems that if the file is too big (which, alas, is smaller than the stated Google Docs limit) the Google Docs spreadsheet won’t open it, e.g. for Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn contributions.)

    Is there a MediaBugs.org equivalent, for govt sites?

  • Charlie Peters

    A Smog Check “secret shopper” would cut toxic car impact 50% in 1 year. DCA/BAR Chief Sherry Mehl , has never found out if what is broken on a Smog Check failed car gets fixed. “The report has been modified since 2001. Continually”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvB3em82Lkw

  • Charlie Peters

    DCA/BAR & CARB pushing AB 2289 Eng to cut AB32 green collar jobs?

    http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/04/18/18645036.php