Proposition 23 in California, the very controversial proposal to suspend that state’s 2006 clean air legislation (AB 32) until the state level unemployment reaches 5.5 percent or less for four consecutive quarters, has its supporters and those who oppose it. Now a state level government entity, California’s Public Utility Commission (CPUC), is weighing in by voting to publicly be on record in opposition.
The CPUC, in its decision to oppose Prop. 23, stated a number of major issues it was concerned on. It believes, in essence, that if Prop. 23 were passed it would disable California’s status as a leader in economically viable environmental protection; permanently suspend the clean air laws passed in 2006 because the Prop. 23 requirement around low unemployment has only been achieved in three instances in the last 40 years; remove from California investment dollars being poured into the clean tech sector; and undermine energy markets, increasing the cost of electricity for consumers.
“We must resist the efforts of out of state oil companies to roll back one of the most important environmental protection laws California has ever enacted and one that will serve to increase investment in energy efficiency, produce jobs, and stimulate growth within the state of California,” said CPUC President Michael R. Peevey in a statement. “Suspending AB 32 would reverse the regulatory signal to invest in clean, environmentally friendly resources. If this were to occur, customers could face significant carbon abatement costs when AB 32 or federal regulation forces the inclusion of a carbon price into the price of the power. Delaying action now will make it more expensive to reduce greenhouse gases in the future.”