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Daily Newscasts

New CA Climate Change Rules Announced As Voters Decide Prop 23

November 1, 2010

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The California Air Resources Board (ARB) on Friday unveiled tough new rules to regulate greenhouse gases, but those rules will be put on hold if voters approve Proposition 23 on Tuesday. ARB's new cap-and-trade program would set a limit on the amount of carbon that companies can emit. However, Proposition 23 would suspend the state's air pollution control law until the economy improves.

Supporters of the initiative say it will protect jobs, but Trip Van Noppen, president of Earthjustice, warns that if Prop 23 passes, California will lose jobs - and more.

"It will drive away the investments that are being made all over California in researching and developing new clean energy technologies. Thousands of jobs will go to China. It'll cripple our ability to clean up our air and move forward with a new clean energy economy."

Van Noppen says postponing the law for even one year would have negative consequences and send the wrong message.

"People make decisions on power plants and on investments in technology over a long time span. If what California does is gyrate back and forth between implementing a law and then postponing implementing a law, it will still cripple the clean energy industry."

If passed, Prop 23 would suspend the state's greenhouse gas emission laws, authorized by the landmark AB 32, until the state's unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent for four consecutive quarters. California's current unemployment rate is 12.4 percent. The most recent polls show Prop. 23 trailing.

More information on the ARB cap-and-trade program is available at www.arb.ca.gov.

Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA