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As we've blogged before, there is a movement underfoot in California to help push back the harmful state cap and trade scheme during tough economic times. This week, those folks got one step closer to seeing their proposed suspension on the ballot this November.
The San Jose Mercury News reports:
Setting up what is expected to be a multimillion-dollar political battle between oil companies and Silicon Valley tech leaders, opponents of California's landmark global warming law turned in about 800,000 signatures Monday for a November ballot measure to suspend the law.
Opponents of the law, known as AB 32, say it will cost California jobs during a bad economy by increasing the price for fuels such as gasoline, and electricity bills.
Supporters of the ballot measure need 433,931 valid voter signatures to qualify the initiative.
"AB 32 is going to significantly exacerbate our energy bills," said James Duran, chairman of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Silicon Valley. He said he is concerned that higher gasolinebills would most harm Latino residents, who tend to have lower incomes than the state as a whole.
It's striking that the group got almost 400,000 more signatures than required - of course any campaign wants to go over in case there are invalid signatures, but it's nice to hope that this kind of enthusiasm to kill a bad bill bodes will for November.
Those who oppose the ballot measure, and support the cap and trade plan, say that the legislation has brought in green jobs and spurs renewable energy industries by increasing demand. But when those costs are high, unemployment is high, and extra cash is running low all around, who can afford such a plan?
Letting the market drive demand wil make the cost of all kinds of energy lower and truly spur the green tech industry to create affordable alternatives rather than being propped up by the government.
California's ongoing budget crisis and high unemployment, as industry flees the tax-happy state, presents a clear example of exactly what not to do, if the goal is in fact a successful state and thriving economy. (If California has another goal in mind involving shuttered businesses, increased forclosures, and some kind of Detroitian dystopia in mind then by all means proceed and good luck with that.)
Anita Mangels, a spokeswoman for the campaign to suspend California's cap and trade has the last word in the article and deserves it here as well in reference to Governor Schwarzenegger's accusations that the effort is the "work of greedy oil companies who want to keep polluting our state and making profits" (which gives rise to thought that if the Governor is sure profits are a bad thing then it's pretty easy to see how California got where it is):
"The companies he is slandering are companies that, regardless of where they are headquartered, employ thousands of Californians and pay millions of dollars in taxes," she said. "They are fighting to protect those jobs."