AB32, the Global Warming Solutions Act passed in 2006, it is aimed at slashing greenhouse gas emissions by power plants, factories and vehicles.
Proposition 23, would delay implementation of the law until California unemployment drops to 5.5% and stays at that level for a year. Unemployment is now over 12%, and keeps climbing.
A recent LA Times Poll showed that two-thirds of likely voters say that global warming is a “very important” or “somewhat important” issue to them. And more than four in 10 likely voters said they have “complete” or “a lot” of trust in what scientists say on the subject, with more than two in 10 saying they have a “moderate” amount of trust.
The survey showed that about one-fifth of likely voters had not yet taken a position. Of those taking position 40% favored the Prop 23 initiative and 38% oppose it, essentially a dead heat. Typically, experts say that a ballot initiative that has less than 50% support at this point will fail. How every, it is important to point our these polls focus on the environment without discussing the cost of reducing CO2 on family budgets. When asked about the cost of CO2 reduction per family, the opinions start shifting.
In 2009 the Economist took a poll and the finding are of interest to the Prop 23/AB32 debate. The poll asked the respondents about their willingness to support a cap and trade climate bill at three different annual costs per household. At $80.00 per year a majority were willing to support a climate bill like AB32. But, at $175 dollars per year support dropped to almost half, with the majority expressing opposition. At $700 per year opposition exceeded support by a ratio of ten to one.
It is vital that the Yes on Prop 23 California Jobs Initiative craft a message that clearly demonstrates the cost of AB32 per family. If voters understand the pocket book costs, then the iron law of climate policy will apply: When policy focuses on economic growth confronts polices focused on emissions reductions, it is economic growth that will win out every time.
H/T to Roger Pielke, Jr. and The Climate Fix for the iron law of climate policy.