Just as former Congressman Tom Campbell announced he was dropping out of the California governor’s race to run for the United States Senate, one of the two remaining Republican candidates in the race ramped up his attack on California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32).

Insurance Commissioner and gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner—not to be outdone by former eBay chief Meg Whitman’s announcement that as governor she would suspend AB 32 on her first day in office—put out a press release this week announcing his support for the so-called “jobs” initiative” (actually an outright attack on AB 32) that will appear on the California ballot in November 2010 if anti-environmental forces can gather enough signatures for it to qualify. See Poizner’s full statement here.

Poizner’s and Whitman’s attacks on California’s landmark global warming law have earned them unflattering nicknames from the political bloggers for the popular blog Calbuzz: “Smokestack Steve” and “Monoxide Meg.”

It is increasingly clear that Californians who care about our state’s natural beauty and the health of our communities must mobilize to “Build a Greener Governor”— before the candidates (including the undeclared Democratic candidate Jerry Brown) take this race to the bottom on the environment any further.

This anti-AB 32 initiative is just the latest chapter in a sustained and coordinated effort to roll back the progress the Golden State has made against global warming and greenhouse gas emissions that threaten our health, our economy and our planet. A version of the initiative, AB 118 (Logue) was just rejected on Monday by the Assembly Natural Resources Committee.

As Ann Notthoff, California advocacy director of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), described in a piece that appeared this week in the California Progress Report:

“[T]he Assembly Natural Resources Committee rejected AB 118, legislation that would have overturned California’s landmark global warming law that has enjoyed broad bipartisan support. Not only would AB 118 have jeopardized public health and the environment, it would have imposed economic harm at a time when California is already struggling to regain our financial footing…”

“This bill, gutted and amended just this week, was part of a statewide campaign to stymie California’s economic recovery and deny workers the opportunity to benefit from the emerging new energy economy. [Assemblyman Dan] Logue, along with Rep. Tom McClintock and the association founded by Paul Gann, have filed an initiative nearly identical to AB 118 with the California Attorney General’s office with the intention of circulating it for signatures to qualify for the November 2010 general election…”

“Suspension of AB 32, the State’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, would cause economic distress and create an uncertain business environment for thousands of California employers who have played by the rules by investing in clean technology, setting up training programs, retooling equipment and taking other actions to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and stimulate the economy.”

Read more from a separate article in the California Majority Report here.

Foes of AB 32 will continue to strategize a way to kill it – whether it’s by a governor’s executive order, legislation or a ballot initiative. CLCV and environmental partners are fending off these attacks by joining with our allies in labor, public health, consumer protection, and sustainable/progressive business communities to move our state in the right direction, by building a greener governor, a greener legislature, and a greener California. One easy step each of us can take is to sign up as an environmental champion on the “Build a Greener Governor” Web site. Will you join us?

Posted on January 15, 2010


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