Proposition 23: Green Money Pounds Big Oil Money In Blue California

By Hillel Aron

Is the green energy lobby California's up-and-coming special interest group?

Proposition 23 would kill Assembly Bill 32, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's climate-change bill that set strict standards for greenhouse gas emissions. Prop. 23 is heavily funded by the Koch brothers and oil firms like Valero Energy and Tesoro.

But not just dirty hippies and David Arquette are fighting the Nov. 2 ballot measure. No on 23 is loaded. James Cameron dumped in $1 mil. It's raked in $19.6 million, more than twice what Big Oil and industries gave the yes side. That's almost Meg Whitman money.

And why not? The green energy industry is becoming just that -- an industry with just as many political interests as any other.

So when 68 "leading investors" get together to urge a "no" vote, or when the "solar power financing company" SunRun tosses $100,000 to No on 23, don't be surprised.

Don't forget that the hero of Wall Street 2, played by Shia LeBeouf, was himself one of those green-money investors. Will history prove this Wall Street as prophetic as the last one?

Even though any story involving money in politics prompts that queasy, they're-all-crooked-feeling, this is good news for preserving Assembly Bill 32 and the anti-global warming effort signed by Arnold.

Prop. 23 is looking weak in polls, although things could change due to the large number of undecided voters.

No on 23 Poster
No on 23 Poster

If the measure goes down to defeat, you'll see faster movement toward green jobs and a green energy industry -- at least here on the Left Coast.


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