California is known as a leader among states, and a trendsetter for the nation in terms of environmental policy. But Republican assemblyman Dan Logue says the state's tough emissions and clean energy law, AB32, is actually setting a trend of unemployment, and he's trying to reverse that trend. His measure seeking to suspend the law until unemployment drops below 5.5 percent was the first piece of legislation he wrote upon taking office two years ago.
He says he doubted it would pass in its first year. But in late 2009, global warming skeptics claimed that stolen e-mails from the University of East Anglia showed climate scientists might have been conspiring to hide data that disproved the idea of global warming. Logue calls it "Climategate" and says it inspired him to make his idea a ballot initiative, and thus, Proposition 23 was born.
And while Logue says he lacks the credentials to credibly question the concept of climate change, himself, he knows that many scientists do not believe in it. He also knows that unemployment is high, and that business are leaving his state, the only one with such a law.
In response to those who say AB32 is already creating jobs in California, Logue says those jobs are subsidized by the state and take resources away from other jobs, forcing businesses to leave California. He says if the state's economy is healthy overall, then it will attract green jobs on its own.
Logue says the Texas-based energy companies that are paying large amounts of advertising money in support of Prop 23 create more than 700,000 jobs in California, along with energy that is much less expensive than the renewable energy AB 32 mandates. He says Californians pay energy bills that are already higher than those in much of the nation, and if the state shifts to what he calls a "green economy," they will be even higher and more business will flee the state.
Logue believes that subsidizing jobs only drives up the unemployment rate because it results in many products being made overseas. He also believes that keeping AB32 in place will actually make carbon emissions worse. He says companies will manufacture their goods overseas, using electricity from coal-fired plants that emit more carbon than plants in the U.S.
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