Clearing the confusion: Proposition 23
on October 27, 2010
The November ballot’s Proposition 23, addressing state law and greenhouse gas emissions, is one of those confusingly structured California ballot measures in which voting yes means no, and vice versa. This interactive graphic provides a quick guide to some of the pro and con arguments and predicted effects of this controversial proposition.
Voting yes on Prop 23 means temporarily suspending (saying no to, that is) Assembly Bill 32. That state legislation, also called AB 32 and the Global Warming Solutions Act, was signed into law in 2006 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. According to the California Air Resources Board, AB 32’s goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, by the year 2020, to the levels of those in 1990—427 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent gases. AB 32 would be suspended until California’s unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent or lower for an entire year. According to statistics from the US Bureau of Labor, that hasn’t happened since 2006. California’s current employment rate is currently more than 12 percent.
If Prop 23 does not pass, all of AB 32’s requirements will take full effect on January 1, 2012, according to the Air Resources Board’s website. Those requirements include mandating power utilities to attain 33 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources—such as wind and solar energy, and putting a limit on emissions for significant sources of greenhouse gases.
If Prop 23 is defeated, thus keeping AB 32 in effect, the California Air Resources Board would be required to incorporate whatever changes and regulations are necessary to reach the 1990 emissions level, which amounts to about a 25 percent decrease from current levels of greenhouse gas emissions. That will include a cap-and-trade program, in which large producers of greenhouse gases will be given a cap on their emissions levels and required to buy emissions allowances from businesses that have not reached their cap.
[The accompanying multimedia project is no longer available.]
To find out more about Prop 23, visit the website of nonpartisan organization Project Vote Smart.
Image: If Proposition 23 passes this November, large producers of greenhouse gases will not be required to report and limit their emissions until the state’s unemployment reaches 5.5 percent or lower for an entire year. Chevron, who has remained neutral in the debate, has a refinery in Richmond (pictured above). Photo by Mark Oltmanns.
Check out all of our Oakland elections coverage on our Campaign 2010 page.
Oakland North welcomes comments from our readers, but we ask users to keep all discussion civil and on-topic. Comments post automatically without review from our staff, but we reserve the right to delete material that is libelous, a personal attack, or spam. We request that commenters consistently use the same login name. Comments from the same user posted under multiple aliases may be deleted. Oakland North assumes no liability for comments posted to the site and no endorsement is implied; commenters are solely responsible for their own content.
Oakland North is an online news service produced by students at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and covering Oakland, California. Our goals are to improve local coverage, innovate with digital media, and listen to you–about the issues that concern you and the reporting you’d like to see in your community. Please send news tips to: firstname.lastname@example.org.