CU opposes California’s Proposition 23


September 29, 2010

Consumers Union Opposes California’s Proposition 23

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, is urging California voters to reject California Prop 23. The consumer group says that Prop 23, which is sponsored by Texas oil companies and would effectively repeal California’s landmark clean energy and emissions law, is a bad deal for the state.
“Big oil is bankrolling Prop 23 in a desperate attempt to block California’s groundbreaking clean air standards,” said Shannon Baker-Branstetter, Consumers Union’s Energy and Environment Policy Counsel. “If Prop 23 wins, we’ll get more air pollution, higher energy costs, and a dramatic slowdown in California’s clean energy sector and all of the new jobs that come along with it.”
More information about Consumers Union’s “No on 23” campaign efforts can be found at: http://www.consumersunion.org/energy
Prop 23 would suspend indefinitely California’s clean energy and air pollution law that was passed four years ago with strong backing from California businesses, environmental, health and labor groups. The law has made California the leading state for investments in clean technology and energy businesses that are creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs. It holds polluters accountable by requiring them to reduce air pollution that threatens Californians’ health and quality of life.
Consumers Union noted that Prop 23 would harm California in a number of ways:
Prop 23 will hurt consumers’ wallets: Prop 23 would stifle the development of clean energy technologies and keep consumers dependent on fossil fuels, which would increase household electricity costs by an estimated 33 percent by 2020. California has demonstrated that its energy efficiency policies save money for families – approximately $56 billion in household savings between 1972 and 2006. But by weakening California’s clean energy sector, Prop 23 will put at risk future savings for consumers and businesses.
Prop 23 will hurt California’s economy: Suspending California’s clean air standards would create chaos in the marketplace, making it impossible for businesses to plan, and jeopardizing billions of dollars in venture capital investments in clean technology for the state. By weakening the clean energy sector in California, Prop 23 will hurt California’s struggling economy and result in the loss of an estimated half-million jobs by 2020.
Prop 23 will hurt California’s air quality: California is already home to some of the worst air pollution in the nation, and repealing the state’s clean air law before it has a chance to work will only make it worse. Over 91 percent of Californians live in counties that were assigned failing air quality grades by the American Lung Association. Prop 23 will worsen air quality and increase respiratory illnesses along with the healthcare costs associated with treating them.
“Big oil companies don’t like California’s clean air law because it makes it harder for them to gouge consumers and rack up excessive profits,” said Baker-Branstetter. “California voters should reject Prop 23 because protecting our health and our environment is good for consumers and the economy.”
Consumers Union supports the development of cleaner, renewable forms of energy, such as wind, solar, biomass and geothermal, and better energy efficiency in our cars, appliances, and buildings. These “greener” choices offer the opportunity to stabilize energy prices and decrease air and water pollution. Clean energy initiatives also can reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, and help build an innovative clean energy economy in the U.S.
Michael McCauley – 415-431-6747, ext 126