I guess it's too much to ask the business-as-usual dirty energy companies to play fair. They see the writing on the wall as states like California take meaningful steps towards clean alternatives to burning fossil fuels. Now it's clear their response will be to wage a cynical and deceptive battle that maintains the profits they earn from their dirty ways.

The latest is Proposition 23, a California ballot measure sponsored by two Texas oil companies (Valero and Tesoro) that aims to kill popular climate and clean air legislation known as AB32.

The proposition is a cynical effort to fool voters in the 2010 fall elections by appealing to concerns about difficult economic times. Proponents falsely claim that AB32 will cost the state jobs and money.

The reality is that California's groundbreaking climate and clean air laws have stimulated billions of dollars of investment in renewable energy projects and technology. And according to the Employment Development Department, since AB32 was put in place California's clean jobs have grown 10 times faster than other jobs across the state. Far from being a drag on the economy, AB32 is an economic stimulus that is helping to California lead the country's development of clean tech industry.

The proposition is also deceptively worded to fool voters into thinking it would only temporarily suspend AB32 until unemployment dips below 5.5% for four consecutive quarters. It almost sounds reasonable doesn't it? Until you realize that California unemployment has rarely gone to that level for that long in the past 30 years. Don't be fooled. There is nothing temporary about Proposition 23, it's a cleverly written spike meant to kill the legislation forever.

Here's a simple question: do you really believe two Texas oil companies care that much about saving California's jobs and economy? Or do you think maybe they'll do whatever it takes to protect an important market, perpetuating their profit from selling dirty fossil fuels to our state's residents. I think I know what the anwer is--so do you. Don't let them get away with killing California's clean technology industry.


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