Proposition 23 on the California November ballot is a measure that seeks to suspend the implementation of air pollution control law, AB 32, until unemployment levels drop below 5.5% in the state. The intention behind the measure is to stimulate job growth in manfucturing and other industries in the state which have been reduced by 34% since 2001. Statute AB 32 requires companies who are major sources of emissions to report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Proposition 23 would lighten the financial cost of reportage and reduction of greenhouse emissions and proponents of the measure say that money could be allocated to industrial job growth.
The proposition has it's largest financial contributers linked to two Texas oils companies, Valero Oil and Tescero, who also authored the proposition. This is considered controversial by many public health officials on both bipartisan lines and other environmentalists engaged in public policy to clean up the air. Opponents of Proposition 23 state that the largest sector of job growth, with the greatest potential for growth in the near future, is in the green tech industry. The green tech industry is involved in research and manufacturing of technologies that encourage environmentally friendly products and technologies that are considered crucial as the world faces impending challenges from Global Warming. Opponents say this measure will not only discourage the growth of green tech jobs in the state, but will reduce air quality, making California unsafe to live in for many in urban environments where air pollution through industrial sources and motorists is highest.
Proponents of the ballot measure 23 have created skeptics by receiving the majority of their campaign funds from the two Texas oil companies funding the measure, Valero Oil and Tescero. The reception of these funds is viewed as unethical by conservatives and liberals alike who are concerned about the quality of air in the state. Public criticism of this balot measure has been widespread. Many critics point out the private interest of the oil companies and their careless oversight of the environmental and public health implications of removing greenhouse gas emissions. Opponents of the measure who have publically criticised Proposition 23 include the American Lung Association, AARP, and the California Firefighters Assocation.
However, supporters of Proposition 23 state that in countries where greenhouse gas emissions have been passed, blue collar jobs have been eliminated. Proponents also state that California has some of the toughest environmental protection laws in the country and Prop 23 would not have an impact on the environment.
Proposition 23 in the California November ballot remains a controversial measure that has not gained support from either of the gubernatorial candidates, Meg Whitman or Jerry Brown. Critics of the measure believe that it encourages industrial growth at the expense of public health and the environment. According to polls, the majority of voters (48%) have opposed the measure since June, indicating strong public opposition to Proposition 23. In addition, many citizens and workers in the green tech industry believe this is wonderful time to encourage a sustainable economy based on those jobs in environmentally friendly technologies that do not rely on oil for sources of energy.