Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ballot initiative targets California climate-change law

Independent producers are watching California Republican Assemblyman Dan Logue’s efforts toward a ballot initiative to suspend California's “Global Warming Solutions Act.” Logue hopes to get the initiative on the November ballot.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 32 in 2006 amid fanfare about what Schwarzenegger calls California’s leadership role in fighting climate change. AB 32 requires that, starting in 2012, the state of California must reduce its carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

The California Independent Petroleum Association says Logue currently has a bill, AB 118, to repeat AB 32 through the state legislative process, but AB 118 is not expected to get approval by lawmakers.

“Debate of the merits of the science used to attribute climate change to carbon sources, delay in congressional action in DC, and continued poor economic conditions in California have brought uncertainty to the future of a California only stand-alone program,” CIPA said in its Feb. 1 Monday Morning Report email.

A ballot initiative, once approved by the Secretary of State, has 85 days to collect 433,000 valid signatures of registered voters to reach the November ballot. The proposed initiative calls for suspension of AB 32 until the unemployment rate falls below 5.5%. California’s unemployment rate was about 12% in early February.

This issue of state vs. federal government issuing climate-change law goes beyond California, and it’s one that much of the US oil and gas industry will be watching closely.

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