One of the more polarizing propositions on the California ballot this November is Proposition 23, an initiative that aims to suspend the state’s Global Warming Act of 2006 until Caifornia’s unemployment rate falls to 5.5 percent or below and stays there for a full year. The Global Warming Act aims to cut California’s emissions of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2020.

Forget that the proposition is backed by oil companies like Valero Energy and Tesoro, which have operations in California and, therefore, stand to benefit handsomely from the rollback of emissions regulations.

Prop 23 would in effect stall California’s conversion to a clean energy economy — and, in so doing, would likely kill jobs in one of the few sectors that has created jobs at a faster rate than the broader state economy.

It also bears noting that the 5.5 percent unemployment target has been triggered just three times since 1970. That’s what the California Legislative Analysts’s Office found in July. With unemployment at over 12 percent, it’s unclear how long, exactly, California’s clean energy activities — like manufacturing and renewable power project development — would be put on ice. This uncertainty is bad for clean energy and it’s bad for California.

The California Air Resources Board last week voted unanimously to affirm the state’s renewable energy standard as the strongest in the nation. In effect, the board is saying no to Prop 23 and yes to California’s clean energy future. We say the same.

Source: Get Solar.

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