Berkeley's anti-Prop 23 Report

by CalWatchdog Staff | September 13, 2010 5:33 am

Katy Grimes: U.C. Berkeley produced its own study[1] on global warming and greenhouse gas emissions in California. It quite interestingly states, “In the United States, California is second only to Texas in total greenhouse gas emissions.”

What a clever attempt to quiet those in the state who say that we are losing jobs to Texas because of the friendlier business climate.

The report[2] says, “California’s produces a significant volume of greenhouse gas emissions: if the state were a country, it would be the 19th largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the world.2 In the United States, California is second only to Texas in total emissions. On a per capita basis, however, California ranks 46th among the 50 states in greenhouse gas emission rates. Figure 1 puts California’s emissions into a national context.”

However, reading through the 44-page report[3], I noticed that most of the footnotes cite the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as the source of expert information – the CARB is the agency responsible for the implementation of California’s global warming law, AB 32.

It’s an interesting agency to cite in the report; if Proposition 23 passes, CARB will need to downsize. Given the loss impending loss of state jobs with the air resources board, it makes one question the reason behind the state-funded Berkeley Center of Law report, and any other sources of grants or funding.

The Berkeley Law press release[4] states, “An independent analysis of Proposition 23 says the initiative would create legal uncertainty, reduce California state revenue, and jeopardize new and existing clean energy jobs. The white paper, released today by UC Berkeley School of Law’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment[5], reports Prop. 23 would also slow California’s efforts to reduce climate change and could have a domino effect on other states.”

“No connection exists between California’s current unemployment rate and AB 32, said Daniel Kammen, professor of energy and report co-author, in the press release. “In fact, the clean tech sector in California is one of the few areas of sustained growth during the current recession.”

The report stated that if enacted, Prop 23 would: “Suspend specific regulatory measures already underway to implement AB 32. Most prominently, Proposition 23 would: halt the state’s planned cap-and-trade program; suspend California’s low-carbon fuel standard; jeopardize the executive order requiring the state’s utilities to provide 33 percent of their generated electricity from renewable sources by 2020; and suspend AB 32’s early implementation measures, such as efforts to improve vehicle efficiency, expand landfill methane capture, and limit industrial greenhouse gas emissions, among others.

It’s an interesting statement because nearly everyone  who talks about AB 32 is very careful to separate it from AB 1493 (another global warming bill) and other bills or executive orders, although AB 32 money has funded all of it.

However, the very last paragraph in the press release states, “If voters approve Proposition 23, California could still move forward on climate change policies, as measures independent of AB 32 would presumably remain in effect. These include efforts to reduce auto emissions, stimulate demand for solar energy, and mitigate environmental harm from real estate development. But Crossroads co-authors say the ability to coordinate these measures and fill gaps between them would be undermined by the suspension of AB 32.”

A hearing for Proposition 23 is scheduled for October 1, in the Senate Environmental and Natural Resources Committee, and should be very interesting given the hullabaloo surrounding the proposition, as well as the recent attempted termination of the UCLA professor who shared his professional disagreement with the CARB report on diesel emissions.

This week there is a Proposition 23 debate[6] in Sacramento coordinated by the Sacramento Press Club.  If nothing else, California is heating up over the proposition, and not just with global warming.

SEPT. 13, 2010

  1. study:
  2. report:
  3. 44-page report:
  4. press release:
  5. UC Berkeley School of Law’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment:
  6. Proposition 23 debate:

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