California Proposition 23, the Suspension of AB 32 (2010)

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This article is about a 2010 ballot measure in California. For other measures with a similar title, see Proposition 23.

Proposition 23
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Type:Initiated state statute
Referred by:Petition signatures
Status:Defeated Defeatedd
Proposition 23, which would have suspended AB 32, the "Global Warming Act of 2006," was on the November 2, 2010 ballot in California as an initiated state statute, where it was defeated.[1]

AB 32, the "Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006," was passed by the California State Legislature and signed by Arnold Schwarzenegger.[2][3] Proposition 23, if enacted by voters, would have frozen the provisions of AB 32 until California's unemployment rate dropped to 5.5% or below for four consecutive quarters. At the time of the vote on Prop 23, California's unemployment rate hovered around 12% and had been at 5.5% or below for four consecutive quarters just three times since 1980.[4]

AB 32 required that greenhouse gas emission levels in the state be cut to 1990 levels by 2020. The process of cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the state was slated under AB 32 to begin in 2012.[5]

In their campaigns for and against Proposition 23, supporters and opponents each adopted nicknames for the measure clarifying their respective views of it. Supporters called Proposition 23 the California Jobs Initiative, and opponents called it the Dirty Energy Proposition.[6][7] Supporters of the measure filed a lawsuit that resulted in a change to the measure's title and summary.[8]

People were predicting that more than $150 million might be spent supporting and opposing the measure and that donations to Prop 23 could top the record of $154 million set by Proposition 87 in 2006. Louise Bedsworth, a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, said, "It’s likely to be one of the most expensive propositions that the state has had."[9] However, in total, the support and opposition campaigns accumulated no more than $74.8 million, with the opposition group far outraising supporters.[10]

Election results

See also: 2010 ballot measure election results
Proposition 23 (Suspend AB 32)
Defeatedd No5,974,56461.6%
Yes 3,733,883 38.4%
These are the final results for this election as per the California Secretary of State's statement of election results.


California's Air Resources Board administered AB 32. They approved a new set of rules governing the sale of carbon credits in December 2010 that some environmentalists said gave the state's timber industry "too good a deal, enabling them to clear cut at the expense of the overall vitality of the forests."[11]

Text of measure

See also: Ballot titles, summaries and fiscal statements for California 2010 ballot propositions

Ballot title

Suspends Implementation of Air Pollution Control Law (AB 32) Requiring Major Sources of Emissions to Report and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions that Cause Global Warming Until Unemployment Drops to 5.5 Percent or Less for Full Year. Initiative Statute.[12]

Official summary

  • Suspends State law that requires greenhouse gas emissions be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020, until California's unemployment drops to 5.5 percent or less for four consecutive quarters.
  • Requires State to abandon implementation of comprehensive greenhouse-gas-reduction program that includes increased renewable energy and cleaner fuel requirements, and mandatory emission reporting and fee requirements for major polluters such as power plants and oil refineries, until suspension ends.

Fiscal impact

  • The suspension of AB 32 could result in a modest net increase in overall economic activity in the state. In this event, there would be an unknown but potentially significant net increase in state and local government revenues.
  • Potential loss of a new source of state revenues from the auctioning of emission allowances by state government to certain businesses that would pay for these allowances, by suspending the future implementation of cap-and-trade regulations.
  • Lower energy costs for state and local governments than otherwise.


About AB 32

See also: California's AB 32, the "Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006", and Text of California Assembly Bill 32 (2006)

AB 32 was enacted in 2006. The goal of AB 32 was to cap state-created greenhouse gases by 2020, based on 1990 emissions. Steps taken under AB 32 included retrofits on diesel engines and new devices on gas pumps.

Unemployment in California

Proposition 23 (article about)
Full text of Prop 23
AB 32 (article about)
Full text of AB 32

In January 2010, California's unemployment rate had crept over 12% and 2.25 million Californians were unemployed.[13] In March 2010, it was discovered that, at the time, 8 of California's 58 counties had an unemployment rate exceeding 20%.[14]

At the time of the vote on Prop 23, the last time the unemployment rate in California was below 5.5% was in 2007.[15] According to the California Employment Development Department in 2010, there had been three periods since 1976 when unemployment in the state remained below 5.5% for four or more quarters:

  • January 1988 through December 1989
  • October 1999 through June 2001
  • October 2005 through June 2007[16]

In 2010, California had lost 34% of its manufacturing jobs since 2001.[17]

Jobs in California's clean energy sector

The number of clean energy businesses and clean energy jobs increased in California 45% and 36%, respectively, in the period between 1995-2008.[18] This rate of growth is 10 times more than the state's average job growth rate.[18]

At the time of the vote, California had over 12,000 clean energy businesses and 500,000 people were employed in clean energy occupations.[18][19] With over $9 billion in venture capital funds, California's clean energy firms have received 60% of venture capital funds in North America[20].

The independent Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) stated that suspending AB 32 would "dampen additional investments in clean energy technologies or so-called 'green jobs' by private firms, thereby resulting in less economic activity than would otherwise be the case."[21]


"Yes on 23" campaign logo


Arguments were submitted to the official California Voter Guide on behalf of a "yes" vote on Proposition 23, as were rebuttals to the arguments provided by Prop 23 opponents. The signers of these arguments were:

  • Kevin Nida, president, California State Firefighters’ Association
  • John Kabateck, executive director, National Federation of Independent Business/California
  • Jon Coupal, president, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association
  • Brad Matzelfelt, governing board member, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District
  • J. Andrew Caldwell, executive director, The Coalition of Labor, Agriculture & Business
  • James W. Kellogg, international representative, United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry

Other supporters included:

  • Dan Logue was a key sponsor.[22] Logue said of the proposed initiative, "This has been the blind leading the blind, political correctness that has collapsed the economy in California. California already has the fifth-cleanest air in the country, so why are we doing this when no one else is?"[22]
  • U.S. Congressman Tom McClintock (R-4).
  • Steve Poizner.[7]
  • The California Republican Party.[16]
  • Jim Kellogg, secretary-treasurer of the State Building & Construction Trades Council. He said, "I don't doubt that there will be more green jobs in California, perhaps even thousands of them; however, we don't want to put at risk the millions of well-paying, blue-collar jobs that put bread on the table right now. We need to make sure we do our homework, ask the tough questions and make adjustments as necessary to implement AB 32 in a way that reduces greenhouse gases without hurting millions of families in this state."[16]
  • The California Manufacturers & Technology Association. A spokesperson said that if AB 32 was implemented as planned, it would be the "death knell for scores of manufacturing jobs."[17]
  • Americans for Prosperity of California[23]

(Note: Ted Costa of People's Advocate, an initial sponsor, withdrew his active support in March 2010, saying, ""Big money interests have come in and shut out the people."[24])

Arguments in favor

The main themes of the arguments made in favor of Proposition 23 by its supporters in the official California Voter Guide were:

  • Energy costs in California will go up when AB 32 is implemented. The voter guide argument made by supporters quotes CARB’s Economic Allocation and Advisory Committee as saying, "AB 32 will cause California households to face higher prices both directly for electricity, natural gas, and gasoline, and indirectly as businesses pass costs for GHG reduction on to consumers."[25]
  • It will save jobs. The voter pamphlet argument says, "Other countries that passed global warming laws experienced a loss of two blue collar jobs for every one green job created."[25][5]
  • It maintains environmental protections: "California has the toughest environmental laws in the country. Proposition 23 doesn’t weaken or repeal the hundreds of laws that protect the environment, reduce air pollution, keep our water clean and protect public health."[25]


Main article: Donations to California's 2010 ballot propositions

Supporters of Proposition 23 raised about $10.6 million for their campaign.[26]

Two Texas-based oil companies, Valero Energy Corporation and Tesoro Corporation, provided the campaign with initial funding to launch its petition drive to qualify for the November 2 ballot.[27]

Valero Energy Corporation and Tesoro Corporation, along with Flint Hills Resources, altogether donated over $6.5 million to the "California Jobs Initiative Committee."[28] At the time, Flint Hills Resources had oil operations in several states outside of California, and was a division of Koch Industries.[29][30][31]

People were predicting that more than $150 million might be spent supporting and opposing the measure and that donations to Prop 23 could top the record of $154 million set by Proposition 87 in 2006. Louise Bedsworth, a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, said, "It’s likely to be one of the most expensive propositions that the state has had."[32] However, in total, the support and opposition campaigns accumulated no more than $74.8 million, with the opposition group far outraising supporters.[10]

According to Cal-Access, these donations of $25,000 or more were made to the "California Jobs Initiative Committee":[33]

Donor Amount
Valero $4,065,636
Tesoro Companies $1,540,636
Flint Hills Resources $1,000,000
Marathon Petroleum Company LLC $500,000
Adam Smith Foundation $498,000
Occidental Petroleum $300,000
National Petrochemical and Refiners Association $100,000
Tower Energy Group $200,000
World Oil Corp $100,000
Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association $100,000
Southern Counties Oil (Total Energy Products) $50,000
California Trucking Association $50,000
Frontier Oil $50,000
Murray Energy $30,000
Berry Petrochemical $25,000
Boyett Petroleum (Stan Boylett & Son) $25,000
California State Pipes Trade Association $25,000
Caminol Management $25,000
Holly Corporation $25,000
Robinson Oil $25,000
J.G. Boswell Company $25,000

State Treasurer Bill Lockyer encouraged California's two largest public employee investment funds, CalPERS and CalSTRS, to divest themselves of stock in refiners Valero and Tesoro. Lockyer, a member of the board of CalPERS, wrote in a letter, "CalSTRS should not be investing in Texas oil companies that hurt the California economy, no more than they should invest in companies that spend millions of shareholder dollars to undermine California's environmental laws and the state's green energy industries and green tech jobs."[34]


See also: Vendors and consultants to California's 2010 ballot proposition campaigns

Goddard Clausen Strategic Advocacy was retained as a campaign consultant. Spokesman Jennifer Dudikoff of Goddard Clausen said in early March of 2010, "Right now, we're not commenting on funders. We expect support from a very broad group of individuals, companies and associations who are currently concerned with keeping and creating jobs in California."[27]

Goddard Clausen's leadership role in the effort was a factor that engendered Ted Costa's decision to step away from the campaign. He said, "They're a bunch of greedy consultants feeding off the trough" and objected to how much money he predicted Goddard Clausen would spend to get the signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot, versus how much money he would have spent, if he had been hired to collect those signatures: "I said I could qualify this initiative for $1.2 million. They'll probably spend $3 million, and all that money will go to consultants."[35]

Dan Logue opined that Costa's position was a case of sour grapes: "Ted basically didn't get the contract to do the signatures, so he's mad."[35]

Political consultants who provided paid services to the "Yes on 23" campaign included:


"No on 23" campaign logo

A group called "Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs" formed to oppose the measure. George Shultz, who served as secretary of state during the Reagan administration, was the honorary co-chairman of the group. He said in early May 2010, "While some companies in California have said they’re worried about the cost of the planned greenhouse gas limits, the new regulations will boost the state’s economy by creating 'clean-tech jobs'."[36]

Democratic consultant Steve Maviglio worked for "Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs." He said, "This measure is a polluter’s dream and will kill a clean energy economy for California."[37]


The following organizations opposed Proposition 23:[38]

  • American Lung Association- California
  • American Association of Pediatrics in California
  • Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality District
  • California Professional Firefighters
  • League of Women Voters of California
  • Consumers Union
  • AARP
  • California Climate & Agriculture Network
  • Small Business California
  • Western States Council of Sheet Metal Workers
  • California Conference of Carpenters
  • California Infill Builders Association Council
  • Antelope Valley Black Chamber of Commerce
  • California Black Chamber of Commerce
  • Culver City Chamber of Commerce
  • German American Chamber of Commerce
  • Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce
  • Green Chamber of Commerce
  • Mountain View Chamber of Commerce
  • Los Altos Chamber of Commerce
  • Latin Business Association
  • Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce
  • Pasadena Chamber of Commerce
  • San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
  • Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce
  • Silicon Valley Leadership Group
  • Solano County Black Chamber of Commerce
  • Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA)
  • California Teachers Association
  • California Wind Energy Association
  • California Solar Energy Industries Association
  • Oak Creek Energy Systems, Inc.
  • Solaria
  • TechNet, "a national network of some of the most recognizable names in the 21st-century market, from Apple to Yahoo."[5]
  • Virgin America
  • Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.
  • Abel Maldonado, Lieutenant Governor of California at the time
  • Kamala Harris, a candidate for Attorney General of California.[16]
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger was staunchly opposed to the repeal of AB 32. Schwarzenegger said that AB 32 created green jobs in the state.[15] When it was announced that supporters of the effort to suspend AB 32 had turned in signatures to qualify the measure for the November ballot, Schwarzenegger said, "The effort to suspend AB 32 is the work of greedy oil companies who want to keep polluting in our state and making profits."[39]
  • The California Teamsters[40]
  • California Institute of Architects, California Council
  • California Statewide Law Enforcement Association\

Arguments against

Comments at a press conference

The arguments submitted to the official California Voter Guide urging a "no" vote on Proposition 23, and the rebuttals to the arguments provided by Prop 23 supporters, were signed by:

  • Jane Warner, president, American Lung Association in California
  • Linda Rosenstock, M.D., Dean, UCLA School of Public Health
  • David Pacheco, president, AARP California
  • Lou Paulson, president, California Professional Firefighters
  • Dr. Charles D. Kolstad, chairman, Department of Economics, University of California-Santa Barbara[41]

The main themes of the arguments made against Proposition 23 by its opponents in the official California Voter Guide were:

  • If Proposition 23 is enacted, it will lead to more air pollution and increased health risks.[41]
  • The financial backers of Proposition 23 have bad motivations: "...the Valero and Tesoro oil companies, are among the worst polluters in California. They’re using 23 to repeal portions of the health and safety code that require them to reduce air pollution at their California refineries."[41]
  • The enactment of Proposition 23 would threaten jobs in the clean energy sector in California: "...clean energy companies are sprouting up and building wind and solar power facilities that provide us with clean power, built right here by California workers. By repealing clean energy laws, Proposition 23 would put many of these California companies out of business, kill a homegrown industry that is creating hundreds of thousands of California jobs, and damage our overall economy." This could jeopardize as many as 500,000 jobs.[41]
  • Proposition 23 will reduce incentives to find alternatives to oil. Oil is costly to consumers and heavy use of oil threatens national security by making us dependent on foreign oil.[41]

Other arguments made against Proposition 23 included:

Vinod Khosla, an investor of clean energy projects, stated, "Prop 23 will kill the market and the single largest source of job growth in California in the last two years."[42]

Danny Curtin, the director of California Conference of Carpenters, stated, "All across the state, workers are being retrained to work on solar and wind projects, to upgrade and build energy efficiency buildings, and to build other clean energy projects. Millions of construction work hours will be created right here because our strong clean air rules have made us a magnet for the renewable energy industry. But if Proposition 23 passes, that revolution will come to a halt – and so too will hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs that our industry desperately needs."[43]

Donors against

Main article: Donations to California's 2010 ballot propositions

Eighteen different campaign committees filed with Cal-Access in opposition to Proposition 23. Cumulatively, these organizations raised about $39 million. However, seven of the 18 committees were simultaneously registered in support of or in opposition to other propositions also on the November 2 ballot, and it was not possible to say with certainty how much of the money they raised was spent specifically to defeat Proposition 23. The main "No on 23" committee, which was registered only as a committee to fight 23, raised $25.2 million.[44][45]

People were predicting that more than $150 million might be spent supporting and opposing the measure and that donations to Prop 23 could top the record of $154 million set by Proposition 87 in 2006. Louise Bedsworth, a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, said, "It’s likely to be one of the most expensive propositions that the state has had."[46] However, in total, the support and opposition campaigns accumulated no more than $74.8 million, with the opposition group far outraising supporters.[10]

According to Cal-Access, these donations of $100,000 or more went to one or more of the "No on Proposition 23" campaign committees:[47]

Donor Amount
Thomas Steyer $5,049,000
National Wildlife Federation $3,000,000
John and Ann Doerr $2,100,000
Natural Resources Defense Council $1,860,000
Sierra Club $1,679,188
League of Conservation Voters $1,295,000
Environmental Defense Fund $1,075,000
Vinod Khosla $1,037,267
James Cameron $1,000,000
Robert J. Fisher $1,000,000
Gordon Miller $1,000,000
Climateworks Foundation $900,000
Nature Conservancy $800,000
Bill Gates $700,000
Clean Energy & Jobs Mobilization Committee $609,632
Green Tech Action Fund $500,000
John Morgridge $500,000
Claire Perry $500,000
Wendy Schmidt $500,000
Julian Robertson $500,000
Pacific Gas & Electric $500,000
Hannelore Grantham $400,000
Susan Mandel $400,000
Ballot Initiative Strategy Center $317,000
Rockefeller Family Fund $300,000
SCOPE $300,000
William Patterson $250,000
Anne Earhart $250,000
Susan Packard Orr $250,000
Nicolas Berggruen $250,000
Democratic State Central Committee $217,470
A.L.L.E.R.T $200,000
Shawn and Brook Byers $200,000
Sergey Brin $200,000
California Teachers Association $200,000
Lauren Powell Jobs $200,000
SunRun Inc. $200,000
Environment California $126,973
Union of Concerned Scientists $113,005
Julie Packard $101,000
Fahrad Ebrahimi $100,000
John Pritzker $100,000
Nancy Burnett $100,000
Lucy Southworth $100,000
Paul Klingenstein $100,000
Green Tech Capital Advisors $100,000
Audubon Society $100,000
Majestic Realty $100,000


The Courage Campaign and CREDO Action called for a boycott of Valero and Beacon gas stations in order to punish Valero for providing financial sponsorship of the initiative. Michael Kieschnick, the president of CREDO Action, said, "What is particularly troubling is that anyone who buys gasoline from Valero is now helping to fund audacious attacks on California's air quality standards. Valero believes it will be cheaper to deceive California voters than to compete in the new energy economy."[48]

See also: Vendors and consultants to California's 2010 ballot proposition campaigns

Political consultants who provided paid services to the "No on 23" campaign included:

Commercials and videos

"Yes on 23" videos and commercials:

"No on 23" videos and commercials:

Impact on gubernatorial election

California GOP gubernatorial candidates debate AB32 in March 2010
See also: California gubernatorial election, 2010

At the time, some believed Prop 23 would likely play a factor in California's 2010 gubernatorial election. This was because the next Governor of California, by the terms of AB 32, would have the power to suspend AB 32, regardless of whether the initiative passed.

  • 2010 gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman said that she would act to freeze AB 32 for a year or more.[49]
  • 2010 gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown, who ultimately won, said he would support "adjusting" some features of AB 32 but that he generally supported it and would not suspend it.[49]

Both gubernatorial candidates were against Proposition 23.[50]

Editorial opinion

2010 propositions
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June 8
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November 2
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Local measures
See also: Endorsements of California ballot measures, 2010

"Yes on 23"

  • Orange County Register wrote: "By approving Proposition 23, voters can stall implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 and perhaps save more than 1 million jobs until state unemployment falls to 5.5 percent for four consecutive quarters. Unemployment has been above 12 percent for more than a year. We prefer permanent repeal of the 2006 law. For now, we urge at least a delay of its disastrous economic effects and infringements on private-sector freedoms."[51]
  • North County Times wrote: "One plain, undeniable fact of economic life is that the government doesn't, and can't, create wealth ---- only private employers can do that. [...] Proposition 23 would suspend (but not end) the expensive "greenhouse" legislation ---- AB 32 and related measures ---- that coerces businesses in California into using more renewable energy sources and sets arbitrary mandates in doing so. [...] We urge a yes vote on Proposition 23."[52]

"No on 23"

  • Bakersfield Californian wrote: "The question shouldn't be whether AB 32 should be implemented. Rather, it's how quickly, and to what degree, it should be enacted to maximize results."[53]
  • Contra Costa Times wrote: "The long-term impact of AB32 could be huge in making California a leader in a growing renewable energy industry, while much of the rest of the country delays action."[54]
  • Fresno Bee wrote: "Proposition 23 is another self-serving measure from special interests."[55]
  • The Herald (Monterey County) wrote: "California achieved greatness through innovation and the success of clean industries such as aerospace, high tech, film and education. At the moment, it is poised to lead the nation again through the development of various clean-tech ventures, but that would be wiped out overnight through a ballot measure intended primarily to help the shareholders of Tesoro and Valero and Occidental Petroleum."[56]
  • Lompoc Record wrote: "So, the question we need to ask ourselves is, are we really willing to risk our health so oil companies can make a few billion more dollars each year?"[57]
  • Long Beach Press-Telegram wrote: "That doesn't make the measure more appealing to voters. Neither does the idea of encouraging more greenhouse gases, even if they are a small part of the worldwide issue. Also, some of us feel that apart from the issue of global warming, it will be healthier and eventually more efficient to get our energy from the sun, the winds or the tides."[58]
  • Los Angeles Daily News wrote: "Proposition 23 proponents ignore the competitive advantage California as a whole has in AB 32. There is an emerging global market for green technology, and with market-changing regulations in place, California is likely to be ground zero in the U.S. for clean technology industries."[59]
  • Los Angeles Times wrote: "Suspending California's global warming law would take the state, and the country, in the wrong direction."[60]
  • Oakland Tribune wrote: "More than 500,000 people work in the cleantech industry, including 93,000 in manufacturing and 68,000 in construction. These are the kind of well-paying jobs California needs and which will increase under AB32."[61]
  • Sacramento Bee wrote: "Three oil companies, Valero, Tesoro and Koch Industries, have so far pumped $8 million into the Proposition 23 campaign. They are the major forces behind a misleading effort to convince voters that AB 32 is harming the state's economy and is a threat to economic recovery."[62]
  • San Bernardino Sun wrote: "The green industry is ready to solve our economic problems and have a major impact on our environmental problems."[63]
  • San Diego Union-Tribune wrote: "...the solution to one bad law is not to adopt a second bad law. And that is precisely what Proposition 23 on the Nov. 2 ballot is – bad law."[64]
  • San Gabriel Valley Tribune wrote: "This disingenuous measure would hurt businesses struggling to innovate and make California's energy future bright."[66]
  • San Jose Mercury News wrote: "If Proposition 23 passes, clean-energy investment will come to a halt. That's what seems to be happening nationally: After the collapse of Senate talks on a national climate and energy bill like California's, a Deutsche Bank executive told Reuters that it would pour most of the $7 billion it has to invest in clean energy into China and Western Europe. Said Kevin Parker, global head of asset management: "(Congress is) asleep at the wheel on climate change, asleep at the wheel on job growth, asleep at the wheel on this industrial revolution taking place in the energy industry.""[67]
  • Santa Rosa Press-Democrat wrote: "This is no time to go back on California's commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and trying to limit the impacts of global climate change."[68]
  • Ventura County Star wrote: "Voters need to see Proposition 23 for what it is: A cleverly written measure aimed at eliminating AB 32 and, in the long run, posing harm to all Californians."[69]



     Position is ahead and at or over 50%     Position is ahead or tied, but under 50%

See also: Polls, 2010 ballot measures

Date of Poll Pollster Support Oppose Undecided Number polled
June 22-July 5, 2010 Field 36% 48% 16% 1,005
Sept 15-22, 2010 GQR and AV 40% 38% 22% 1,511
September 14-21, 2010 Field 34% 45% 11% 599
September 19-26, 2010 PPIC 43% 42% 15% 2,004
October 2-4, 2010 Reuters/lpsos 37% 49% 14% 600
October 10-17, 2010 PPIC 37% 48% 15% 2,002
October 14-26, 2010 Field for the Sacramento Bee 33% 48% 19% 1,501

The question in this poll asked whether poll respondents supported AB 32, the 2006 Global Warming law that would be suspended until the unemployment rate dropped.[70]

Date of Poll Pollster Support AB 32 Oppose AB 32 Undecided Number polled
July 6-20, 2010 PPIC 67% 23% 4% Unknown

The question in this poll asked whether the state should take action "right away" on its plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or wait until the state’s economy and job situation improved.[71]

Date of Poll Pollster "Take action right away" "Wait until economy improves" Undecided Number polled
July 6-20, 2010 PPIC 53% 42% 5% Unknown

Reports and analyses

The impact that AB 32 would have on jobs in California was widely disputed.

Air Resources Board

The California Air Resources Board was the state agency charged with enforcing AB 32. This group said in 2008 that AB 32 would create more than 100,000 jobs in the state. In March 2010, the agency revised its estimate, saying that AB 32 would create 10,000 jobs.[13]

Larry Goulder, a professor at Stanford University, was the lead economist in the CARB report. Goulder came under fire in April 2010 when it became known that he was on the board of directors of the Energy Foundation. The Energy Foundation, in turn, was the sole contributor behind the Green Tech Action Fund. The Green Tech Action Fund gave $500,000 in April to "Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs," which was the campaign committee that was attempting to defeat Proposition 23.

When questioned by the New York Times, Goulder said, "I value my reputation as an economist. I have no direct involvement with the Green Tech Action Fund."[72]

CSU-Sacramento Studies

Two studies of AB 32 were conducted by S. Varshney and D. Tootelian. At the time, Varshney and Tootelian were professors at California State University-Sacramento. Their studies were sometimes referred to as the "Varshney studies" or the "V&T studies."

  • June 2009: The name of this study was "Cost of AB 32 on California Small Businesses—Summary Report of Findings (June 2009)." It concluded that AB 32 would cost California’s small businesses $183 billion in lost output each year.[73] Commissioned by the California Small Business Roundtable, this study said that the cost of implementing AB 32 "could easily exceed $100 billion" and that the program would raise the cost of living by $3,857 per household each year by 2020.[13] It also said that the implementation costs of AB 32 were "likely to total $183 billion in reduced GSP and the equivalent of 1.1 million fewer jobs" and estimated the "average annual cost of AB 32 per small business...[at]...approximately $50,000."[73] The California Legislative Analyst's Office in March 2010 said of this study that "it contains a number of serious shortcomings that render its estimates of the economic effects of AB 32’s proposed implementation through the SP highly unreliable."[73]
  • March 2010: Varshney and Tootelian's study was reviewed by James L. Sweeney, a professor at Stanford University, and Matthew E. Kahn, a professor at UCLA. Sweeney and Kahn said that Varshney and Tootelian's study was "flawed" and "overestimate[d] the law's [AB 32] cost by a factor of 10."[74] Sweeney and Kahn also say that Varshney and Tootelian do not include in their study the savings and innovation that would result from AB 32.[75]
  • September 2009: The name of the second study by Varshney and Tootelian was "Cost of State Regulations on California Small Businesses Study (September 2009)." Mandated by Chapter 232, Statutes of 2006 (AB 2330, Arambula), this study concluded that "California’s regulations of all types resulted in reduction in the gross state product (GSP) of $493 billion annually in lost output and $134,000 annually per small business." The California Legislative Analyst's Office, in a March 2010 letter to Kevin de León, said, "Our review of this study indicates that it contains a number of serious shortcomings that render its estimates of the annual economic costs of state regulations essentially useless."[73]


See also: 2010 ballot measure litigation

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court on July 29, 2010, asserting that the ballot title prepared by the Office of the Attorney General of California was "false, misleading and unfair" and should therefore be changed.[76] Arguments filed in court said the title and summary should not refer to "air pollution control laws" because Proposition 23 did not apply to multiple laws and should not refer to "major polluters" because power plants and refineries were not the only businesses affected by the law, since emissions from universities, agricultural facilities, municipal buildings, and other private companies and citizens were also affected.[77]

On Tuesday, August 3, 2010, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley issued a ruling that took the side of the plaintiffs and ordered that the state government change the ballot title and summary.[78]

Frawley's ruling said:

  • The term "sources of emission" should be used in the ballot language instead of "major polluters."[78]
  • The official ballot language should not use the word "abandon" to describe what will happen to AB-32 if Proposition 23 is enacted, but should rather consistently use the word "suspend."[78]
  • Ballot language should clarify that Proposition 23 does not apply to state pollution laws on "smog-forming emissions and others related to asthma and other health risks."[78]

Path to the ballot

See also: California signature requirements
See also: 2010 ballot measure petition signature costs

Multiple versions of the proposed measure were filed with the Office of the California Attorney General. On November 25, 2009, the group People's Advocate filed a request for an official ballot title on 09-0094, the proposed version that eventually became Prop 23. An official summary was accordingly provided on February 3, 2010, with a petition deadline of July 5, 2010. On December 22, 2009, requests for ballot titles were filed on 09-0104 and 09-0105, two other versions. These ballot titles were provided on February 7, 2010, with petition deadlines of July 19, 2010.

To qualify the measure for the November 2, 2010 ballot, supporters had to provide qualifying signatures to California's 58 county election clerks no later than the July 5, 2010 deadline. A total of 433,971 valid signatures were required to qualify the measure for the ballot.

The petition drive to land the initiative on the ballot was launched the first week of March 2010.[79] Signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot were collected by National Petition Management at a cost of $2,222,312.[80] Organizers turned in their qualifying signatures on Monday, May 3, claiming they collected over 800,000.[81][15]

External links

Suggest a link

Basic information


See also: 2010 ballot measure campaign websites


See also: 2010 ballot measure campaign websites

Additional reading


  1. Fresno Bee, "Climate law to go before voters," June 23, 2010
  2. ChinaDialogue, "Testing time for green California," March 3, 2010
  3. Los Angeles Times, "Ballot initiative would curb California efforts," January 25, 2010
  4., "California's New Energy Divide," accessed March 6, 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 San Diego Union Tribune, "Critics: State can’t handle greenhouse gas mandates," February 12, 2010
  6. No on 23 campaign website
  7. 7.0 7.1 Business Week, "California Climate Campaign Spending May Top Record," April 16, 2010
  8. Los Angeles Times, "Proposition 23 backers sue over ballot language," July 29, 2010
  9. Bloomberg News, "Calif. Climate Campaign Spending May Top Record," April 16, 2010
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Los Angeles Times, "Proposition 23: Backers were outspent, out-organized," November 2, 2010
  11. Press Democrat, "New air rules may be boon for timber," December 15, 2010
  12. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Wall Street Journal, "California's Cap-Trade Law Faces Fall Ballot Challenge," April 5, 2010
  14. Los Angeles Times, "Unemployment tops 20% in eight California counties," March 11, 2010
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Reuters, "California may vote to freeze landmark climate law"
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Legal Newsline, "Referendum on Calif. greenhouse law appears headed for voters," May 3, 2010
  17. 17.0 17.1 Legal Newsline, "DiCaro: Shelving Calif. greenhouse law will save jobs," May 5, 2010
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Many Shades of Green, "Collaborative Economics and the Next 10," accessed December 2009
  19. Employment Development Department: Labor Market Information Division, "California's Green Economy," April 21, 2010
  20. Clean Tech, "Homepage," accessed February 27, 2014
  21. California Legislative Analyst's Office, "Analysis of AB 32," accessed February 27, 2014
  22. 22.0 22.1 Appeal-Democrat, "Logue wants air rules to face popular vote," December 1, 2009
  23. Americans for Prosperity/California
  24. Los Angeles Times Blogs, "'Integrity abuses' charged in initiative to suspend California climate law," March 10, 2010
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 California Voter Guide, "Proposition 23"
  26. Official record of "Yes on 23" campaign contributions
  27. 27.0 27.1 Sacramento Bee, "Drive launched to derail state's greenhouse gas law," March 4, 2010
  28. California Secretary of State, "Cal-Access record of donations to support Proposition 23," accessed February 27, 2014
  29. San Jose Mercury News, "Oil company owned by Tea Party's billionaire brothers gives $1 million to fight California's climate change law.," September 4, 2010
  30. Washington Independent, "Koch Brothers Spend Big to Derail Greenhouse Gas Law in California," September 9, 2010
  31. [1]
  32. Bloomberg News, "Calif. Climate Campaign Spending May Top Record," April 16, 2010
  33. Cal-Access record of donations to the California Jobs Initiative Committee
  34. PRNewswrite, "Gangster Government: California Officials Retaliate Against Proposition 23 Supporters," October 19, 2010
  35. 35.0 35.1 Los Angeles Times, "Fight splits backers of ballot initiative to suspend state's global warming law," March 12, 2010
  36. Business Week, "California Carbon Law Fight Takes a ‘Giant Step’," May 3, 2010
  37. Sacramento News & Review, "Conservatives hot about global warming ballot measure," February 8, 2010
  38. No on Prop 23- Californians to Stop the Dirty Energy Proposition, "Our Coalition" (dead link)
  39. Mercury News, "Opponents of California global warming law turn in signatures for November measure," May 3, 2010
  40. Los Angeles Times, "Global warming ballot initiative: Teamsters and cities weigh in," April 23, 2010
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 41.3 41.4 Arguments for and against Proposition 32 in the official California Voter Guide
  42. Mercury News, "Cleantech industry coming out against Proposition 23," August 10, 2010
  43. [2] (dead link)
  44. Appeal-Democrat, "Anti-AB32 measure rhetoric heating up," April 14, 2010
  45. Wall Street Journal, "Cleantech Braces For Assault Against California Greenhouse Law," May 10, 2010
  46. Bloomberg News, "Calif. Climate Campaign Spending May Top Record," April 16, 2010
  47. Cal-Access record of donations to Californians to Stop the Dirty Energy Proposition
  48. AOL News, "California Activists Urge Boycott of Valero Gas"
  49. 49.0 49.1 New York Times, "Jerry Brown Defends Embattled State Climate Law But Is Open to 'Adjustments'," April 30, 2010
  50. The Sacramento Bee, "Whitman to vote against Proposition 23," September 23, 2010
  51. Orange County Register, "Our picks for the propositions," October 5, 2010
  52. North County Times, "EDITORIAL: Yes on Proposition 23--OUR VIEW: Economic recovery is single most important issue facing state," October 27, 2010
  53. Bakersfield Californian, "Keep up momentum, reject Proposition 23," October 6, 2010
  54. Contra Costa Times, "Voters should endorse cleaner energy by rejecting Proposition 23," September 5, 2010
  55. Fresno Bee, "State voters should reject Proposition 23," October 8, 2010
  56. Monterey Herald, "Proposition 23 just a bad ballot measure," October 8, 2010
  57. Lompoc Record, "Want cleaner air? Defeat Proposition 23," October 3, 2010
  58. Long Beach Press-Telegram, "No on Proposition 23," October 6, 2010
  59. Los Angeles Daily News, "No on Proposition 23: Proponents can't make a case for delaying emissions rules," September 19, 2010
  60. Los Angeles Times, "No on 23," September 28, 2010
  61. Oakland Tribune, "Voters should endorse cleaner energy by rejecting Proposition 23," September 5, 2010
  62. Sacramento Bee. "Endorsements: Proposition 23 deserves to go down in disgrace.," September 27, 2010 (dead link)
  63. San Bernardino Sun, "No on Proposition 23," October 9, 2010
  64. San Diego Union Tribune, "No on Proposition 23," October 11, 2010
  65. San Francisco Chronicle, "Vote no on Proposition 23," September 27, 2010
  66. San Gabriel Valley Tribune, "Our View: No on Proposition 23; keep green future," October 4, 2010
  67. San Jose Mercury News. "Vote No on Proposition 23," August 22, 2010
  68. Santa Rosa Press Democrat, "No on 23," September 7, 2010
  69. Ventura County Star, "Reject Proposition 23 to clear the air," September 9, 2010
  70. Public Policy Institute of California, "In Big Shift, Californians Oppose Offshore Oil Drilling"
  71. Los Angeles Times, "California poll: support for climate law, opposition to oil drilling", July 28, 2010
  72. New York Times, "Lead Economist for State Analysis Linked to Pro-Climate Law Campaign," April 21, 2010
  73. 73.0 73.1 73.2 73.3 Legislative Analyst's Office, "Letter of March 9, 2010 to Kevin De León"
  76. Mercury News, "Judge rules Proposition 23 ballot language must be reworded," August 3, 2010
  77. Los Angeles Times, "Proposition 23 backers sue over ballot language," July 29, 2010
  78. 78.0 78.1 78.2 78.3 Orange County Register, "Rebuke of Jerry Brown good news for Proposition 23," August 3, 2010
  79. Sacramento Bee, "Drive launched to derail state's greenhouse gas law," March 4, 2010
  80. "Yes on Prop 23" campaign expenditures
  81. Sacramento Bee, "Drive to suspend AB 32 will submit voter signatures Monday," April 30, 2010