Ballot measure targets Calif. climate-change law

Chris Rizo Feb. 4, 2010, 4:40pm

Dan Logue (R)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-Supporters of an effort to suspend California's landmark greenhouse gas law are now able to collect signatures to get a measure on the statewide ballot, officials said.

The measure championed by Republican state Assemblyman Dan Logue would suspend the state law that set increasingly stringent caps on greenhouse gas emissions, leading to a 25 percent reduction by 2020.

The proposed ballot measure would put the climate change law on hold until California's beleaguered economy improves.

If approved by voters, the measure would not allow the greenhouse emissions law to be enforced until the state unemployment rate has dropped below 5.5 percent for at least four consecutive quarters.

Logue, R-Linda, had sought to suspend the greenhouse statute legislatively last month, but his effort was stymied by Democrats on the state Assembly Natural Resources Committee.

To qualify for the November ballot, initiative backers must collect at least 433,971 valid voter signatures by June 24, the secretary of state's office said.

The state's greenhouse gas law is the California Global Warming Solutions Act, or Assembly Bill 32, signed by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The law was enacted in 2006, when California's unemployment rate was 4.8 percent. The state's unemployment rate is currently 12.3 percent and has been more than 5.5 percent since July 2007.

Employment Development Department figures indicate that since 1976, there have been just three periods when unemployment has remained below 5.5 percent for four or more quarters: January 1988 through December 1989, October 1999 through June 2001, and October 2005 through June 2007.

AB 32 requires the California Air Resources Board to develop regulations and market mechanisms to reduce California's greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020. Mandatory emissions caps will begin in 2012 for significant sources.

Logue's effort to suspend provisions of the California Global Warming Solutions Act is not the only current attack on California's efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

On Tuesday, the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, the American Trucking Associations and two other groups filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block a California requirement for cleaner burning fuels.

The groups are challenging fuel regulations that were adopted by the California Air Resources Board last April, aimed at slashing by 10 percent greenhouse gas emissions from gasoline and diesel sold in the state.

The rule, beginning next year, will require petroleum refiners and fuel distributors to gradually increase the cleanliness of the fuels they sell in the Golden State.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at

More News