Brown Blasts Proposition 23, Questions Whitman's Commitment to California's Green Economy
LOS ANGELES - Joining business leaders who called California's climate change legislation (AB 32) "vital to the survival of our industry," Attorney General Jerry Brown reaffirmed his opposition to Proposition 23 today and blasted Meg Whitman for her inconsistent position on the measure and failure to support full implementation of AB 32.
"Attempts to shelve the state's landmark law to combat climate change are regressive, short-sighted and counter-productive, and I urge Californians to vote no on Proposition 23," Brown said. "While Texas oil pumps millions into the yes campaign, Meg Whitman continues to flip and flop her way out of taking a real stance on this harmful measure."
Proposition 23 would suspend the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32), until unemployment reaches 5.5% for a full year - a market condition that has only occurred three times in the past three decades.
AB 32 established a first-in-the-world program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Rolling back this program would not only damage the environment, it would also jeopardize California's standing as a leader in the green economy. In fact, policies like AB 32 have helped create and sustain more than half a million jobs statewide.
Proposition 23 is being bankrolled almost exclusively by out-of-state oil companies including, Texas-based Valero Energy Corporation and Tesoro Corporation and Kansas-based Koch Industries.
After more than a year of calling AB 32 a "job-killer", vowing to suspend key measures of the law and at one point suggesting she would junk the law in its entirety, Whitman has avoided taking an official stance on the measure.
"Meg Whitman wants to have it both ways," Brown said. "She wants credit for supporting the environment and green jobs, but she won't do what is necessary to support this vital industry. We need a governor who will do what is right, not a governor who doesn't know what is right."
As part of today's event, Brown toured Los Angeles-based PermaCity Solar. This innovative company designs and installs photovoltaic and solar thermal systems throughout California, including an upcoming installation project at nine schools in the Santa Monica-Malibu School District.
In the past two years, the company has created more than 40 jobs, largely because of policies like AB 32, which have increased the popularity and affordability of solar power systems. Without AB32, PermaCity will be unable to continue to offer jobs in vital parts of its operation including many of its residential and commercial segments.
"If Proposition 23 passes, my company could be forced to scale back operations or take our business elsewhere," said PermaCity Solar CEO and President Jonathan Port. "AB 32 is vital to the survival of our industry and attempts to suspend it are misguided and harmful."
As California's Attorney General, Brown has vigorously defended the state's clean energy and climate laws that are spurring billions of dollars in new investment, new businesses and new jobs. Recently, Brown sued Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac for blocking an innovative program (Property Assessed Clean Energy) embraced by half of California's counties to increase efficiency retrofits, install rooftop solar, and increase local jobs.
As Governor, Brown adopted the nation's first building and appliance efficiency standards, saving Californians $56 billion and creating 1.5 million green jobs over the past three decades. Brown also adopted the toughest anti-smog laws in the country, cutting air pollution by almost 50% while vehicle traffic increased 20% and established California as a leader in wind power, solar energy, and cogeneration.