If California’s Proposition 23 passes this November, it could put at risk 500,000 clean tech jobs, 12,000 companies and billions of dollars of private investment in California, say business and investment leaders, according to a report from the Clean Economy Network (CEN).
The Nov. 2 ballot measure would delay the implementation of certain parts of Assembly Bill 32, the 2006 law requiring that the state reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, until the state’s 12.3 percent unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent for four consecutive calendar quarters, reports The Sacramento Bee.
The report, “Going Backward” (PDF), indicates that Prop 23 would halt efforts to increase electricity produced from renewable sources, curb energy efficiency standards for homes and office buildings and prevent cleaner tailpipe emissions. The report also finds that private equity and venture capital investors are wary about making investments due to the uncertainty created by Prop 23.
The report also shows that passage of Prop 23 would increase healthcare costs because of continued air pollution as well as raise electricity bills by up to a third over the next decade. It also has the potential to cause a roll back of energy and climate policies in other states and slow efforts to pass comprehensive energy and climate legislation in the U.S. Congress, according to the report.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is expected to introduce a watered-down energy bill today (July 26), which eliminates targets for carbon caps and mandates that would require utilities to generate some of their power from renewable energy.
CEN reports that more than 250 businesses and organizations across the state have signed a petition to oppose Prop 23.
Proposition 23 supporters, consisting of businesses and oil companies, say the measure is a temporary delay to protect struggling businesses from added costs of complying with the GHG emissions regulations until the economy recovers, according to the Sacramento Bee.