'The Governator' Fights Back Against Prop 23

California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger lashed out yesterday at the well-funded movement to pass Proposition 23, a ballot referendum that seeks to block his state’s landmark emissions law, which is scheduled to go into effect next year. Schwarzenegger called the energy industry-funded Prop 23 campaign “a corruption of the democratic process” and accused Texas oil companies like Valero Energy and Tesoro Corp. of attempting to “sabotage this country’s economic future for private gain.”

The governor spoke at the Commonwealth Club of Santa Clara, on the anniversary of the passage of The Global Warming Solutions Act (or AB 32,)the legislation that the “Yes on 23″ campaign is seeking stop. Signed into law in 2006, AB 32 gave the California Air Resources Board sweeping new powers to regulate emissions, and set the stage for the creation of a regional cap and trade system that would be the first of its kind in North America.

Opponents of the law have raised at least $8.2 million dollars from mostly out-of-state sources to promote Propostion 23 as a “jobs bill,” arguing that AB 32 would lead to more than 1 million layoffs if it is allowed to go into effect next year. But Schwarzenegger and a coalition of hundreds of business groups throughout the state disagree.

“They are creating a shell argument that they are doing this to protect jobs,” the governor said yesterday. “Does anybody really believe these companies out of the goodness of their black oil hearts are spending millions and millions of dollars to save jobs?”

Meanwhile, Californians can expect to be deluged with advertisements both in support of and against Proposition 23 from now until the election. Both sides launched new ad campaigns this week, beginning what is likely to be one of the most well-financed battles over a ballot initiative the state has ever seen.

The “Yes on 23″ spot, which first aired during the California gubernatorial debates on Tuesday, doesn’t argue against the existence of global warming or the need to curb greenhouse gas emissions, but that those measures should be delayed until the economy recovers. The ad neglects to mention that the 5.5 percent unemployment level that would be needed to re-trigger AB 32 if the Prop 23 were to pass, has been achieved just three times in the last 40 years.

But oil companies aren’t the only business interests who are spending big to get their message out on the issue. The green tech industry, led by Silicon Valley startups like Tesla and Solaris, has been instrumental in raising more than $1.8 million to protect AB 32 in just the last two weeks—compared to the $6,500 their opponents raised over the same period.

Polling on the measure’s chances has been decidedly mixed from the beginning, with the most recent findings from The Los Angeles Times and The Field Poll showing a 2 point lead and 9 point deficit for Prop 23, respectively. Regardless of where the polls stand now, it will be the roughly 20 percent of voters who are still undecided on the issue that will decide the fate of Prop 23—with organizers on both sides racing to raise the funds they will need to sway those undecideds between now and November.


  • Earl Richards

    The California Jobs Initiative is an oil corporation farce and fraud. There is no connection, whatsoever, between greenhouse gas emission reduction and the loss of jobs. This notion is an insult to the intelligence of the people of California. In fact, there is job growth in the clean, renewable energy industry. Chevron employs 65,000 worldwide and CJI is not going to change this. The only jobs created by the oil industry are clean-up jobs after oil spills and deep water, blow-outs and pump-handler jobs. CJI will make fantastic profits for the oil indusry, increase air pollution, especially in communities around their refineries and there will not be lower gas prices. Koch Industries, Valero and Tesoro are super Enrons. Since when did the oil companies start to show any concern for the unemployed and their families and for small businesses?

  • JamesDavis

    It amazes me at how many people agree with these greedy oil, natural gas, and coal barons. These barons have always put profit above peoples lives and the environment and they have convinced a large number of people that the coal, oil, and natural gas jobs are the only jobs and none other can be created and if one oil job is lost, the economy will collapse and the whole nation will be plunged into darkness without gas or electricity.

    Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, you are going to have to go after these demons jugular vain and cut them out before they destroy your state like they destroyed West Virginia and the three mid-western states closest to you.

  • Libertarian Don

    It amazes me how the proponents of the greenhouse fraud vilify their opposition as greedy holocaust deniers. But when your arguments are weak you must hide behind vilification and fake consensuses. The green/marxist alliance in their grab for power is doing great damage to real environmentalism and to the credibility of science. Truman warned the people against the military-industrial complex but never foresaw the government-academic complex that has evolved for the same reason funding. This complex uses science or what poses as science to justify power grabs, increased government and is hostile to private enterprise. Fortunately, the public opinion tide is turning against the greenhouse fraud and its stillborn cap, tax, and control schemes.

  • Jeff

    You speak as if you hold some kind of intelligence level, but in fact you are drinking the Konservative Kool-Aid like the rest of the loonies. The environmental movement embraces the idea of curbing greenhouse gas emissions and in turn possibly (big if there) curb some of the effects of climate change. I know you roll your eyes when people say climate change, because the wool is firmly over those foolish eyes of yours. The fact remains that humans are expediting a natural cycle in the Earth, changing things at a much more rapid pace. Ocean acidification, species extinction (flora and fuana), ice cap melt, ozone depletion, you name it, we helped exacerbate it. But I didn’t expect you to think very hard, after all, you actually believe everything that is told to you. Check out how Scotland is on track to become the first country to run 100% on alternative enery by 2020. Change is real; I know it scares you wicked opportunistic predators to think that oil, gas and coal are not the only solution.

  • Charles

    Libertarian Don;

    I am so sorry that you have fallen for the energy companies’ well funded propaganda machine’s distortions. It appears you are too far gone to be converted to a thinking homosapien, but I am going to try.

    Science is data and observation driven. Somebody notices something and tries to figure out what is causing it. There are well formed steps:
    1) A hypothesis is formed.
    2) Predictions are made.
    3) Data is collected.
    4) As the data is analyzed it will almost always show the the hypothesis is not fully correct. So the hypothesis is adjusted and we go back to step 2.

    When the predictions and the data mostly agree the information is sent for publication. Other scientists look at the hypothesis, data, data collection methods and predictions. If it all looks good, the information is published in a public forum. Information about the scientists is also published including who funded the study.

    After publication other scientists will try to build on the original work. The first step is to repeat and verify the original work. If the verification fails all hell breaks out. Sometimes the original scientists are vilified (Martin Fleischmann, Stanley Pons and Andrew Wakefield to name a few) if others cannot repeat the original work.

    At this time the climate change hypothesis are still being adjusted. The propaganda machines take these changes as proof that scientists do not agree about climate change in general. That is simply not the case. Today almost all climatologists agree that global climate change is real and humans make a significant contribution to the change.

    As for your belief in a government-academic complex. It must be really big and well hidden. Most of the worlds developed countries believe in climate change (the USA being very late to the party). Most of the worlds scientists believe in climate change (heck even about half of petroleum geologists believe in human contribution to climate change).

    So you say government funding is the reason for the scientists beliefs. Would you please explain this to me? Why do developed countries want people to believe in climate change? Do politicians really care about what light bulb you buy? Did all of them buy stock in bio-Diesel plants? Or maybe photovoltaic research companies?

  • Libertarian Don

    Climate change is real as it has always been happening. The fact that the greenhouse effect was renamed to climate change should raise red flags (pun intended). Talk about believing what you are told, mean greenies have swallowed the fraud hook, line, and sinker. You are not the rebels but the conformists! If you care about the environment, actually learn and apply the scientific method rather than follow the feel good religion of CO2 induced global warming. If you actually look at the data you will find that CO2 has been much higher before when the earth was much colder and that CO2 rises after the global temperature goes up not before. Warming causes ocean degassing of CO2. But don’t let facts get in your way after all the objective is to feel pious.

    Our environment has very serious troubles spanning from habitat destruction to road salt pollution. Not only is CO2 plant food and not a problem but the schemes by the far left will drive our economy into poverty and make us too poor to deal with the real environmental issues.

    Three great examples of the mean greenies policies destroying our environment: The mean greenies want to pump CO2 into the ground! They are too ignorant to realize that 70% of earth’s biomass is more than 3 ft underground. What are the green nuts thinking! Pumping CO2 into the ground will destroy these environments with who knows what outcomes. Hey but just like far off shore drilling what you can’t see can’t hurt you! Most greenies eat “organic” foods which result in much more land in cultivation and less for habitat. Most mean greenies oppose food irradiation that would dramatically decrease food spoilage (read less land in cultivation) decrease the need for refrigeration and the energy and CFC usage associated with refrigeration. Greenies are the enemy of the environment because the environment isn’t their objective but instead religious piousness is their objective.

    Start thinking greenies. You’re bringing the earth to a cliff and the free people of American will stop you.

  • James Davis

    Charles, don’t feed the trolls, you just make them aggressive.

  • Dj

    The law should stand and it will help the counrty.

  • MA Solar Installer

    I hope Arnold is the “terminator” of this ludicrous ballot referendum. The passage of Prop 23 would be bad for everyone. Instead of moving the country forward toward clean technology and farther away from fossil fuels, we would be rolling back the clock and using the same old excuses of “it’s not the right time” or “we just don’t have the money.” With news that China has surpassed the U.S. to now be the top producer of renewable technologies, this is not the time for our country to step backward.

  • Dom

    I’m not for big business, big government, but I’m especially not fond of CARB. I don’t like one state effectively mandating emissions for the rest of us… since CA is the largest car market in the US, it pretty much dictates what the rest of us can or cannot buy. One set of standards for the whole nation would be much better.

    I also think in regards to car emissions we’ve reached a point where further emission regulations hurt more than help. It’s like trading a Prius for the next version… the increase in fuel economy isn’t anywhere near worth the amount of money spent (lost) in making the trade up. I also don’t think the added expense to cars is something we need right now. Not in the middle of a recession. Why don’t they spend their time, money, somewhere more needed. Hey, why don’t they pass a law making China clean up its air instead…

  • Anonymous

    wow, libertarian don certainly has been sticking his head inside the 3ft ground and living as part of the 70% biomass.

    mr don, people are not as dumb as you think. until you write a paper using proven scientific method, your statements are just rumors and allegations…

  • veek

    Thanks for the article.

    Just want to point out that not all the Politically Correct are green, either. For example, Ted Kennedy and RFK Jr. (who has worked for the NRDC) were highly effective opponents of wind power. Overgeneralizing often leads to reinforcement.

  • Elliot

    Don,

    You are warning people about the “government-academic complex” but you seem to inherently trust the oil-industry-complex? After all, what POSSIBLE motive could they have for fighting movements towards green energy and transportation? They have certainly proven themselves to be responsible environmental citizens in the past, right? Right?

  • Anonymous

    Libertarian Don,

    “government-academic complex” Is that a government where smart people make decisions based on actual science and facts. Sounds scary.

  • David

    Excuse me, but does anyone recognize the ring on Arnold’s hand?