Prop Zero
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Big Oil Challenges State Environmental Law

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    NEWSLETTERS

    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Shrimping and fishing boats are seen docked at sunrise in Venice, La., Tuesday, April 27, 2010. The The seafood industry in the Gulf of Mexico could be adversely affected by the growing oil slick that resulted from the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig last week. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

    They say everything's big in Texas. Take the bank accounts of Oil and Energy companies like Valero and Tesoro. California is big business for them which is why they're the ones behind a measure aimed at suspending AB-32. That's the law that sets limits on greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles and oil refineries (among others). Its purpose is to encourage clean energy and renewable resources like solar and wind power, to reduce emissions and keep the sun from burning up the earth.  

    California apparently subscribes to the global warming theory. The big oil companies don't. How could they? They rely on all those emissions to keep their coffers full. Why would they want us to use less oil and gas? Exactly. That's apparently why they're trying to stop AB-32.

    Proponents of this effort are calling the measure the "California Jobs Initiative". They want to stop AB-32 from being enforced until the state unemployment rate falls below 5.5% for at least a year. The unemployment rate is more than 12% now. California hasn't seen 5.5% since 2007 and with a struggling economy is it likely the rate will go that low any time soon?  

    It's probably going to be a while which is exactly what the oil companies seem to be banking on. This is a chance for them to avoid mandatory emission reporting and fee requirements for major polluters. Like them.
     
    But with clean, renewable energy awareness gaining ground it seems these big companies are trying to hold on to their profits by holding off California law with a whip and chair. Governor Schwarzenegger isn't amused. Why would he be? With the unpopular fiscal choices he's had to make and the state still $19 billion in the hole, this law is one big environmentally positive feather in his cap.  "I will not let this happen on my watch" he says.

    We'll see. These energy interests got the signatures they needed to get the measure on the November ballot. Get ready for the ads.  With so much at stake one can only imagine the millions of dollars both sides will be throwing at this campaign.