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Prop. may halt Cali's emission reduction

CO2 skywriting

TEXT OF STORY

BILL RADKE: California passed a law a few years ago to cut carbon emissions. Now there's a proposition on the November ballot to put that measure on hold -- until the state economy improves.

From the Sustainability Desk, Marketplace's Eve Troeh reports.


EVE TROEH: California's unemployment rate is one of the highest in the country -- more than 12 percent.

State Assemblyman Dan Logue says energy costs will go up if California makes companies reduce emissions as planned. And then...

DAN LOGUE: We're going to have an exodus of businesses either leaving or closing. This is just not the right time.

Logue's Proposition 23 would suspend California's so-called Global Warming law until unemployment drops to 5.5 percent -- and stays there for a year.

Georgetown University economist Vicki Arroyo says energy costs have gone up -- and will continue to go up -- under California's emissions law. But those extra dollars drive a growing clean energy market.

VICKI ARROYO: Why would they cut off this progress in an area that's showing growth when so many other areas of the economy are not?

The two sides of the issue are head to head in spending on the ballot measure. Two Texas oil companies funded most of the $8 million behind Proposition 23 thus far. Clean energy venture capitalists have put up almost $7 million to fight it.

In Los Angeles, I'm Eve Troeh for Marketplace.

About the author

Eve Troeh is News Director at WWNO-FM in New Orleans, La., helping build the first public radio news department in the station’s 40-year history. She reported for the Marketplace Sustainability Desk from 2010 to 2013.

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