Suspend AB 32 (2010)

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California Assemblyman Dan Logue is "the brains behind" an effort to put a Suspend AB 32 initiative on the state's November 2010 ballot. The initiative (Proposition 23: the California Jobs Initiative) would suspend California's Global Warming Solutions Act, A.B. 32, until the state's unemployment rate dips to 5.5 percent or lower[1] for four consecutive calendar quarters - a condition that has occurred only three times in the last 30 years, according to initiative opponents.[2], [3]

Title

Termed by supporters the California Jobs Initiative, California state Attorney General Jerry Brown has given it the official title Suspends Air Pollution Control Laws Requiring Major Polluters to Report and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions That Cause Global Warming Until Unemployment Drops Below Specified Level for Full Year[4].

Economic impact

The economic study [5] that the initiative's backers originally cited[6] to justify the initiative has been widely attacked [7], [8] for a number of reasons, one being including the costs but omitting the benefits; its main author has declined to defend the study against these criticisms.[9]. This study, by Cal State University Sacramento Business School dean Sanjay Varshney and professor Dennis Tootelian, was funded by the California Small Business Roundtable advocacy coalition.[10]

A December 2009 report by the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS), looking at the Varshney study and three other studies, reported that "Three of four prominent analyses show the costs of climate policy are far outweighed by projected economic growth". These three other studies were conducted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB); University of California researchers; and Charles River Associates/Electric Power Research Institute.[11]

A [March 2010] report by California's Legislative Analyst's Office predicted that AB 32 will result in short-term job losses, even though, the Huffington Post reported[12], "the Union of Concerned Scientists pointed out that the report admits that predicting job losses or gains from AB 32 is extremely difficult, provides no independent research to back its claim of overall job losses, and fails to mention the numerous studies that have found that AB 32 would be a net job creator with little or no impact on small businesses."

Supporters

The California Secretary of State's website lists Thomas W. Hiltachk as the initiative's proponent.[13]

The SuspendAB32.org website lists proponents of the effort as U.S. Congressman Tom McClintock and California Assemblyman Dan Logue.[14]

Ted Costa, CEO of People's Advocate, had also been listed as a proponent until he turned against the effort in March 2010 due to its "country club" organization and unreported oil industry funding.[15]

Committee

The committee supporting this effort is the California Jobs Initiative Committee; its officers are[16],[17]:

Financial support

Records from California's secretary of state show more than $3 million has been spent to qualify the initiative, with eighty percent of that money from special interests outside of California, and 78 percent oil money.[18]

A March 18 2010 Secretary of State filing reported the following "stop AB 32" donors:[19]

Other large donors include:

  • Adam Smith Foundation, $498,000; Jefferson City, MO. Missouri is home to two of the nation's largest coal companies, Peabody Energy Corp. and Arch Coal Co.[22]; principals with the foundation have refused to say where the money came from.[22]
  • In September 2010, Flint Hills Resources, a Kansas petrochemical company that is a subsidiary of Koch Industries, donated $1 million to the campaign.[23]

See ElectionTrack's page for a current list.

History

As of mid-February 2010, Dan Logue had asserted that $700,000 had been committed to the effort to gather signatures, but neither he nor Ted Costa would identify the backers.[24]

Up to $2 million had been pledged by Texas-based refiners Valero and Tesoro, the Los Angeles Times reported March 3.[25]

PR Firms

Queries about the initiative's financial backers were referred to PR firm Goddard Claussen, a Sacramento-and-DC firm which "created the Harry and Louise ads that helped kill health reform back in the early 1990s"; the Sacramento News and Review reported this firm had been hired to run the campaign.[26]

Identified as spokeswoman for the signature-gathering effort is Anita Mangels[27] of Bay Area "ballot measure and issue advocacy" firm Woodward & McDowell[28], which is running the anti-AB32 AB 32 Implementation Group[29]. This firm has previously run campaigns to defeat measures that would have restricted smoking and permitted pay-at-the-pump auto insurance.[30].

Opponents

Opposing the initiative is Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs, "sponsored by environmental organizations and business. Major Funding by Green Tech Action Fund, Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund California Ballot Measures Committee", according to the group's website.[31] On June 23, 2010, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Sierra Club Chairman Carl Pope, and Bay Area environmental leaders held a press conference calling on Valero and Tesoro to stop “bankrolling a deceptive, special interest effort to repeal California's clean air and clean energy laws.”[18]

Contributions

From ElectionTrack, May 11 2010, contributors are:[32]

  • Green Tech Action Fund, San Francisco: $500,000 on 2010-03-31
  • Environmental Defense Fund, New York: $75,000 on 2010-03-31
  • Natural Resources Defense Council, New York: $12,500 on 2010-03-30
  • Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund, California Ballot Measures Committee (Nrdc), Sacramento: $50,000 on 2010-03-25
  • Nicolas Berggruen $250,000 donation [33]
  • Thomas Steyer [34](Hedge fund manager) donated $2.5 million [35]
  • John Doerr (Venture capitalist) contributed $500,000 [36]
  • Anne Earhart (heiress to the Getty family fortune) has donated $250,000 [37]

See ElectionTrack's page on this committee for a current list.

States vow to sue CA if Suspend AB 32 fails

In September 2010, the attorneys general of at least four states are preparing to sue California if AB 32 survives the Prop 23 challenge. The attorneys general of Alabama, Nebraska, Texas, and North Dakota have been devising a legal strategy to challenge the California act on the grounds that it "interferes with the right to freely conduct interstate commerce" and thus violates the U.S. Constitution, according to attorney general of North Dakota Wayne Stenehjem.[38]

Contact

"Stop AB32" website: http://www.jobs2010ca.com/ ( formerly http://SuspendAB32.org )
"No on 23, Stop the Dirty Energy Proposition" (Keep AB32) website: http://www.stopdirtyenergyprop.com

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

References

  1. Colin Sullivan (2010-02-11). Drive to Delay Calif. Climate Law May Be Stuck in Neutral. New York Times (ClimateWire). Retrieved on 2010-02-26. “The brains behind the initiative in the state Assembly, Republican Dan Logue, recently told the Los Angeles Times that his campaign had $600,000 available to fund the signature-gathering operation, which requires 433,000 signatures by April 16 to qualify for the general election. His measure as currently drafted would repeal the law, A.B. 32, until the state's unemployment rate dips to 5.5 percent. But many close to the process, including an ally of Logue, say the effort has flagged in recent weeks and has yet to begin gathering signatures with about two months left until the deadline.”
  2. Jim Sanders (2010-03-04). Capitol Alert: Drive launched to derail state's greenhouse gas law - Sacramento Politics - California Politics. Sacramento Bee. Retrieved on 2010-03-04. “Opponents contend that the four-quarter threshold for reinstatement essentially would kill AB 32 because state records show that California has met the requirement only three times in the past three decades.”
  3. Craig Miller (2010-05-03). AB 32 Stopper Headed for Ballot. KQED's Climate Watch. Retrieved on 2010-07-30. “The proposed ballot measure would freeze AB-32 until the state’s unemployment level dropped to five-and-a-half percent—or lower--for one full year. That’s something that’s happened only three times since the mid-1970’s: once in the late 1980s (for about ten quarters), a similar stretch in the late ‘90s, and once in 2005-06. After the deep recession of the early ‘80s, it took the state’s unemployment rate about four-and-a-half years to move from its 11% peak back to the 5.5 percent threshold.”
  4. Margot Roosevelt (2010-02-06). Effort underway to suspend California's global-warming law. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2010-03-04. “Sponsors of the California initiative, including Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Granite Bay), Ted Costa of the People's Advocate, a Sacramento-based anti-tax group, and Thomas Hiltachk, an attorney with Republican Party ties, have dubbed the measure the California Jobs Initiative. The official wording of the initiative, however, lies in the hands of Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, an outspoken advocate of AB 32 and a presumptive Democratic candidate for governor. On Wednesday, his office discarded the "jobs initiative" title in favor of the unwieldy: "Suspends Air Pollution Control Laws Requiring Major Polluters to Report and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions That Cause Global Warming Until Unemployment Drops Below Specified Level for Full Year."”
  5. Sanjay Varshney and Dennis Tootelian (2009-06). Cost of AB 32 on California Small Business - Summary Report of Findings (pdf).
  6. About AB 32 - Get California Back to Work! Suspend AB 32. Suspend AB 32. Retrieved on 2010-03-12. “Economists estimate if nothing is done AB 32 will...”
  7. Mattew E. Kahn (2009-09-21). [http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/scopingplan/economics-sp/matthew_kahn.pdf A Review of Cost of AB 32 on California Small Businesses—Summary Report of Findings by Varshney & Associates]. Retrieved on 2010-03-01.
  8. James L Sweeney (2010-02-16). [http://www.stanford.edu/group/peec/cgi-bin/docs/policy/research/Sweeney%20Review%20of%20Varshney.pdf Review of Varshney/Tootelian Report “Cost Of AB 32 On California Small Businesses – Summary Report Of Findings” (draft)]. Retrieved on 2010-03-01.
  9. Steven Maviglio (2010-02-27). Business-Backed Economist Backs Off His Anti-AB32 Study. The California Majority Report. Retrieved on 2010-03-01. “In an interview with the Sacramento Business Journal http://sacramento.bizjournals.com/sacramento/latestnews.html, Sanjay Varshney, Dean of the Business School at California State University Sacramento, declined to defend his results when pressed by the reporter to defend the criticism from the Stanford economists. “I haven’t really kept up with the debate,” he told the Business Journal. “It will be very difficult for me to comment.””
  10. Michael Shaw (2009-07-24). Debate soars over costs of climate bill. Sacramento Business Journal. Retrieved on 2010-03-12.
  11. unknown (2009-12-03). Controversy Over Economic Impacts of California's Climate Law: A Comparative Analysis of Projections. PRNewswire. Retrieved on 2010-03-12. “Climate Solutions and Economic Growth in California (http://www.resource-solutions.org/publications.php) examines the assumptions, models and results of four different economic modeling efforts conducted by the following organizations: l) California Air Resources Board (CARB); 2) University of California researchers; 3) Charles River Associates/Electric Power Research Institute; 4) Varshney and Tootelian. The first three studies all found strong growth even while considering only a narrow class of benefits -- expected energy savings from efficiency measures. The fourth study, Varshney and Tootelian, includes only costs and no benefits associated with the law. Broader economic benefits expected to occur, such as boosts to the clean energy and pollution control sectors, improvements in public health, and increased investment in clean tech industries, were not included in any of the studies.”
  12. Jonathan Kim (2010-03-12). Petition to Kill California's Anti-Pollution Legislation Is Off to a Rocky, Slimy Start. Huffington Post. Retrieved on 2010-03-12.
  13. Initiatives and Referenda Cleared for Circulation - Elections & Voter Information. California Secretary of State. Retrieved on 2010-03-12.
  14. Proponents - Get California Back to Work! Suspend AB 32. SuspendAB32.org. Retrieved on 2010-03-01.
  15. Margot Roosevelt (2010-03-12). Fight splits backers of ballot initiative to suspend state's global warming law. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2010-03-12. “[Costa said] "they believe they can run this thing out of the country club, and to hell with the little people of California. If they have half a million dollars, how come they haven't reported it?".”
  16. ? (2010-03-13). Capitol Alert: Valero, Howard Jarvis group lead fight to suspend AB 32. Sacramento Bee. Retrieved on 2010-03-13.
  17. Statement of Organization Recipient Committee (form 410) Amendment # 1323890. California Secretary of State. Retrieved on 2010-03-18.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Daniel Wood, "Texas Oil Firms Behind California Greenhouse Gas Initiative" truthout, June 24, 2010.
  19. California Jobs Initiative Committee (2010-03-18). Late Contribution Report (form 497). California Secretary of State. Retrieved on 2010-03-18.
  20. Products and Services. Tesoro Corporation. Retrieved on 2010-03-18. “Incorporated in Delaware in 1968, Tesoro Corporation is a FORTUNE 100 company and one of the largest independent refining and marketing companies in the Western United States. Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, Tesoro operates seven refineries, wholesale and commercial marketing activities and a network of retail fuel stations.”
  21. AGCI Past Participants :: About Roger Cohen. Aspen Global Change Institute. Retrieved on 2010-03-18.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Dan Morain (2010-05-02). Battle to suspend emissions law has no boundaries - Sacramento Opinion. Sacramento Bee. Retrieved on 2010-05-11. “Two of the nation's largest coal companies are based in St. Louis, Peabody Energy Corp. and Arch Coal Co. Arch and Peabody cite AB 32 in their annual reports, warning that such laws could force electricity generators to switch from coal to other fuel.”
  23. Todd Woody, "Koch brothers jump into Prop 23 fight" Grist, September 3, 2010.
  24. Michael Gardner (2010-02-12). Critics: State can’t handle greenhouse gas mandates. SignOnSanDiego.com. Retrieved on 2010-03-01. “Supporters of the initiative have until July 5 to collect the signatures of 433,971 registered voters. Logue said the campaign has 'commitments' for about $700,000...He and Costa declined to reveal who has pledged financial assistance.”
  25. Margot Roosevelt (2010-03-03). Texas-based refiners pledge to fund fight against California's global warming law. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2010-03-04. “Two Texas-based refinery giants have pledged as much as $2 million to fund signature gathering for a ballot initiative to suspend California's landmark global warming law, according to Sacramento sources. The companies, Valero Energy Corp. and Tesoro Corp., own refineries in California that would be forced under the law to slash emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.”
  26. Cosmo Garvin (2010-03-03). Shocker! Texas oil company bankrolling bid to scrap California's global warming law.. Sacramento News & Review. Retrieved on 2010-03-04.
  27. unknown (2010-03-11). The Buzz: Ted Costa, who pushed to suspend AB 32, now opposes effort. Sacramento Bee. Retrieved on 2010-03-12.
  28. Team (Anita Mangels, Project Director). Woodward & McDowell. Retrieved on 2010-03-12.
  29. Ali Winston (2010-01-18). Green firms balk at coalition's lobbying effort. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved on 2010-03-12.
  30. Associated Press (1994-01-05). "Pay-at-Pump Plan pushed back", Lodi News-Sentinel. Retrieved on 2010-03-12. 
  31. STOP the Texas Oil Companies' Dirty Energy Proposition. Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs. Retrieved on 2010-05-11. “[The effort is] sponsored by environmental organizations and business. Major Funding by Green Tech Action Fund, Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund California Ballot Measures Committee. FPPC ID # 1324059”
  32. Campaign Contributions to Californians For Clean Energy And Jobs, Sponsored By Environmental Organizations And Business. ElectionTrack. Retrieved on 2010-05-11. “...Cash on hand: $649,221 as of [?]; Contributions since [?]: $637,500”
  33. Billionaire shells out $250,000 to fight Proposition 23
  34. [The World's Billionaires http://www.forbes.com/lists/2008/10/billionaires08_Thomas-Steyer_RUIR.html]
  35. Billionaire shells out $250,000 to fight Proposition 23
  36. Billionaire shells out $250,000 to fight Proposition 23
  37. Billionaire shells out $250,000 to fight Proposition 23
  38. Mark Schapiro, "4 States Prepare Legal Assault On California's Climate Law" HuffPo, September 9, 2010.

External resources

Campaign Finance

External articles