CALSTART Board Votes to Oppose Proposition 23 to Repeal California Landmark Clean Energy and Clean Air Law

Thursday, August 26, 2010

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TO:                  CALSTART Members
FROM:            John Boesel, President and CEO
DATE:             August 26, 2010

CALSTART’s Board of Directors has gone on record to oppose Proposition 23, an initiative on the November ballot in California that would essentially repeal California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (aka the “AB 32 Program”).  Signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2006,   Assembly Bill 32 established a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 15 percent below the 1990s level by 2020.  Based on this law the state has moved ahead with important measures to cut the carbon content of fuels, implement stronger vehicle standards, develop measures to reduce vehicle miles traveled, and provide funding for low carbon transportation programs.  Passage of this measure has helped stimulate the growth of the clean transportation technology industry, not just in California, but globally.

Proposition 23 would suspend the AB 32 program until the state’s unemployment rate falls below 5.5% for a full year.  Such employment conditions are very unusual in the state and would have the effective impact of killing the AB 32 program.  The leading funders of Proposition 23 are Texas-based oil refiners, Valero Energy Corporation and Tesoro.

Because of the potential negative impact of this Proposition on our industry, for the first time in the history of our organization, the CALSTART Board of Directors voted to take a position opposing a measure on the ballot.  While the organization has played an important role in several key policy battles, it has never before gotten involved in ballot measures.  The Board elected to take this position because passage of the measure would create regulatory uncertainty, discourage innovation, and result in less investment in the clean transportation sector.  Particularly given the lack of progress in international agreements and action at the federal level, it’s important that California and other states continue to push for cleaner transportation technologies.

Among other organizations that are also opposing Proposition 23 are Waste Management Inc., Ebay Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., Pacific Gas & Electric, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and the California Labor Federation AFL-CIO.  If you have any questions about our position, would like to discuss this topic further, or learn about how you can work with us, I encourage you to contact me directly at (626) 744-5607.  To learn more about the campaign to oppose Proposition 23 and join the growing coalition you can also visit: