State Budget Deal Undermines Voters on Climate Change

Posted on 11 June 2013

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Sarah RoseBy Sarah Rose
California League of Conservation Voters

California voters expect our leaders to make timely investments in activities that fight climate change, create jobs, and improve the environment and public health. Each time the question of whether our state should invest in climate change solutions and a clean energy economy is put to a vote of the people, including Proposition 39, they overwhelmingly vote "yes." And yet today, our elected leaders have delayed the investment in the future that Californians have said they want. This is a particular insult to voters that the Governor used the passage of Prop 39 last November - which should have made our efforts to fight climate change more robust - as an excuse to borrow the revenue.

Photo credit: Eric ChanThe Legislature very recently passed laws that help guide how to invest these funds where they're needed most: AB 1532 (Speaker Pérez), SB 535 (de León), and provided further guidance in last year's budget. The funds should be allocated for "win-win" investments that stimulate economic activity and create jobs, while fighting climate pollution. The sooner we begin to invest in efforts to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the greater impact we will have on the climate crisis. Delaying these investments undermines the will of the people and public confidence in California's climate efforts.

CLCV will continue to hold the governor and the Legislature accountable to their promises to chart a clean energy path for California and are mobilizing our grassroots members now to ensure there will be no repeat of this in next year's budget.

Sarah Rose is CEO of the California League of Conservation Voters, the non-partisan political action arm of California's environmental movement.

I have problems with those votes because they are so misleading. For example, would you vote for climate change if you understood that it would be massive unemployment? Maybe not. But, the referendums are never framed that way. No one every details that the cost of climate change or anti-fracking means 10% unemployment and huge budget shortfalls. If they were told the truth (i.e. the consequences) do you think this kind of stupid referendum would pass? I doubt it.

Before we spend lots of money on climate change matters, let's wait utill reputable scientist sort it all out. I don't feel comfortable listening to Al Gore.