In California, there is a risk of further rollback of climate change mitigation policies:
IN 2006, the California assembly passed AB32, known in the vernacular as the Global Warming Act of 2006. The measure requires that the state reduce its carbon emissions below 1990 levels by 2020. In this election cycle, that has proven too tempting a political target to ignore, and in November California will vote on Proposition 23, which would suspend AB32 until the state’s employment rate falls below 5.5% for four straight quarters (a condition which has been met just three times since 1976, and which seems rather distant with the state’s unemployment rate currently running at 12%). Proposition 23 has been largely funded by multi-million-dollar donations from two Texas oil companies, Valero Services and Tesoro Companies.
The campaign is largely being funded via multi-million dollar donations from two Texas oil companies: Valero Services and Tesoro Companies.
The situation reveals some of the special dangers associated with climate change policy: big polluters will do whatever they can to block and water down effective policies. Voters are always tempted to delay the necessary transition to carbon neutrality, due to concern about jobs or growth today. Finally, the structure of the political system often effectively prevents the consideration of the welfare of future generations.