July 22, 2010

Four years ago, California passed AB32, a fairly ambitious climate change bill, lauded at the time as being on the forefront of environmental legislation.

That was then, this is now. In November, Californians will be registering their vote on Proposition 23, a bill that will effectively destroy the greenhouse gas emission and clean energy standards set by AB32. A proposition that was written by, funded and advertised by out-of-state interests, namely Texan Big Oil interests.

The primary funders of Prop. 23 are Valero Energy Corporation and Tesoro. These two Texas oil companies are among the nation’s biggest polluters, and their California oil refineries are among the top ten polluters in our state. The Valero Political Action Committee is a leading political contributor to dirty energy interests nationally.

Valero and Tesoro claim Prop. 23 would only "suspend" AB 32's air pollution and health regulations until California's economy gets better. In fact, Prop. 23 - The Dirty Energy Proposition would kill new jobs and investment.

The fine print in Prop. 23 reveals their plan is to kill the clean air standards by prohibiting them from being enforced unless the state's unemployment rate drops to a fixed level that has rarely ever been achieved.

It's more than clean energy and greenhouse gasses too. If Prop. 23 passes, we're looking at lost green jobs, poorer air quality and hurt our already failing economy. The NRDC and Californians for Clean Energy Jobs have produced the above ad featuring actor Edward James Olmos.

In the one-and-a-half minute video, Olmos speaks out against Proposition 23, the ballot measure financed by Texas oil companies to roll back California’s clean air and energy standards, saying “Don’t let polluters from Texas tell us how to live. Vote no on Proposition 23.”

Set against a backdrop of images from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Olmos reminds viewers of the economic and environmental costs of fossil fuels and encourages Californians to send the polluters a message.

According to statistics from the Secretary of State’s report, more than 80 percent of the contributions to Prop 23 are from out-of-state companies; approximately 79 percent are from oil companies with Valero and Tesoro as the leading contributors. Valero and Tesoro were recently named the #12 and #32 polluters in the nation in the “Toxic 100 Air Polluters” report (http://www.peri.umass.edu/toxic100 ) recently issued by the University of Massachusetts Amherst Political Economy Research Institute (PERI).

If you would like to donate time or money to the No on 23 campaign, please contact them here.

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