Prop 23: Solid Victory for Keeping Greenhouse Gas Law in Effect - NBC Bay Area

Prop 23: Solid Victory for Keeping Greenhouse Gas Law in Effect



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    Prop 23, often seen as a litmus test of just how 'green' California really is, proved that the electorate is more green than not, passing the measure 60 to 40 percent, with 59 percent of precincts reporting.

    In essence, voters were asked to choose between their immediate environmental situation and their immediate economic conditions. During a continuing economic downturn, and with some effective and negative ads, Californians clearly chose clean energy over dirty energy.

    The proposition would have delayed implementation of California's global warming law -- a law that limits greenhouse gas emissions from factories, power plants and cars -- until unemployment in the state was at 5.5 percent or lower for four consecutive quarters.

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    The original greenhouse law passed in 2006 sought to cut the amount of air pollution to certain levels, or lower, by 2020. 

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger completely opposed passage, mentioning his opposition at any chance, including after the San Francisco Giants won the World Series and at a women voters' forum in Los Angeles last month.

    An LA Times poll on Sept. 24 showed that 21 percent of voters were undecided on Prop 23, with 40 percent in favor of passage. By Oct. 21, voters had started to make up their minds, though. 

    A follow-up poll a month later showed that 48 percent opposed passage of Prop 23 -- the picture becoming less cloudy.

    The ads, like most during proposition races, were highly charged. Most were targeted at "Texas Oil Companies" who were alleged to back Prop 23, ostensibly to continue production at the present, less expensive, levels.