Californians are fortunate to live in a state with environmental and public health protections that help ensure a high quality of life. One such law is California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32), which was attacked in the November 2010 election by polluting industries and their elected allies. They want us to keep burning fossil fuels rather than transition to a more sustainable, clean energy economy.
Texas-based refinery giants Valero and Tesoro wanted to gut AB 32 and roll back the requirements to reduce the amount that they pollute -- because the two companies operate four California refineries that, combined, emit 16.7% of all of the global warming emissions in the state. They and other out-of-state polluters spent millions to put Proposition 23 onto our November ballot to suspend AB 32. Californians saw through their scheme and overwhelmingly defeated Prop 23 by a huge margin.
This is great news, because our current economic challenges make it more important than ever to stand up for environmental protections. Research shows that being “green” (ecological) helps save and bring in the “green” (money). A recent UC study reported that California’s successful efforts to become cleaner and more efficient have saved us money and grown the economy, resulting in the creation of 1.5 million jobs with a total payroll of over $45 billion. AB 32 will encourage even more investment in energy-related research, innovation and development in our state.