What happens when environmental fashion collides with a state’s desperate need for jobs and economic growth? That question will be put to the test when Californians vote November 2 on a ballot measure that would suspend the Golden State’s cap-and-trade law until its unemployment rate falls below 5.5%. Today the rate is 12.4%.
Proposition 23 is the number one national target of the green movement this election year. With the failure of cap and tax in Congress, the greens are trying to hold onto this remnant of their anticarbon crusade.
A 2009 study commissioned by the California Small Business Roundtable found that when fully implemented AB 32 would cost the state more than one million jobs and “result in a higher cost to California households of $3,857 per year.” That’s more than the typical California family pays each year in federal income tax. A new study by the Pacific Research Institute predicts job losses of 150,000 by 2012 and 1.3 million by 2020.