PG&E Comes Out in Opposition to Prop 23

Life for 23 equals death for 32.prop 23 reaper

It is a formula neither experimental math riddle nor numeric palindrome. It is California politics.

California, a state that saw 135 different candidates run for governor in 2003, including such oddball contenders as Gary Coleman (RIP), Richard Simmons, Larry Flynt and The Terminator, always seems to have the most exciting elections. But as silly as it can sometimes seem, California, with the Governator now a who’d-a-thunk-it 7-year resident of the governor’s mansion, has blossomed into a national and global leader in renewable energy, especially solar power.

Yet much of that progress (already achieved and yet to come) is under serious threat from a much sillier but incredibly scary (and rich) source — Big Oil and its Proposition 23. The measure, which has been approved for the November ballot, would effectively kill AB 32, a landmark climate bill signed by Governor Schwarzenegger and due to realize its full impact in 2011.

Elusively dubbed the California Jobs Initiative (although Jerry Brown more aptly renamed it for the ballot), the measure would prohibit enforcement of AB 32 until the state’s unemployment rate falls below 5.5 percent (currently about 12.5 percent). Contrarily, opponents of Prop 23, which now includes Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), rebut that 23 would kill both 32 and valuable jobs in the state’s clean energy industry — it’s fastest growing economic sector.

PG&E joins the likes of George Schultz and a host of environmentalists in opposing Prop 23. Jonathan Marshall, chief of External Communications at PG&E, told CleantTechnica:

prop 23 schwarzenegger“Since actively supporting the passage of AB 32, PG&E has worked with the California Air Resources Board, California Public Utilities Commission, California Energy Commission and other stakeholders to make AB 32 a success and a model for other jurisdictions to follow. Contrary to this responsible approach, Proposition 23 would suspend the law indefinitely, despite the critical need to combat climate change at the state, national and global level.”

PG&E is a leader among utilities in California and nationwide in the race to a clean energy economy. With so much time and money invested (including most recently a $100 million investment in solar leasing), it’s no wonder that PG&E does not want to see AB 32 suspended.

Now PG&E and the greater greentech industry must hope that the majority of California voters also stand in opposition to Prop 23. In the meantime, hopefully opposition also means a little eco-PR for AB 32, which will undoubtedly be necessary to counteract the oil industry’s well-established greenwashing machine.

Source: CleanTechnica
Photo Credit: Photobucket & Shock Ya

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