On November 3, 2010, California reported that 61.2% of voters in California defeated Proposition 23 (“Prop 23”). Prop 23 would have suspended California’s Global Warming Solution Act of 2006 (“AB 32”), which requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2020, until California’s unemployment rate is 5.5 percent or less for a calendar year. (see October 8, 2010 edition of the WER).
Prior to the election, Prop 23 garnered support from out-of-state oil companies and faced opposition from clean energy companies in California. Opponents of Prop 23 reportedly spent more than $30 million and included Microsoft founder Bill Gates and movie director James Cameron. Proponents of Prop 23 and businesses did gain one measure in the election- Proposition 26, which will require a two-thirds vote by the state Legislature and local governments before assessing a fee on businesses under AB 32.