That's how Valero chief executive Bill Klesse characterized California's Assembly Bill 32, a broad law targeting global warming that, among other things, requires the state's carbon emissions to be slashed to 1990 levels by 2020. Out-of-state oil companies, particularly from Texas, have poured money into the state in an effort to shut down AB 32. In voting booths today, Californians will be deciding the fate of the unpopular Proposition 23, the gist of which is to suspend AB 32. The proposition is a state measure, but it will have ramifications across the country because of California's huge economy and influence."In a way, the low-carbon fuels [standard] is an electric-car mandate. ... It's really an anti-fossil fuel law."
The Los Angeles Times has a profile on the fight that oil company Valero has been waging in support of Proposition 23 and it should be required reading for anyone who hasn't made up his or her mind about the vote today. What's interesting for a national audience is how oil companies are fighting so strongly to keep the true costs of oil production out of the picture, something that AB 32 does. The standard that AB 32 sets means these costs are intentionally added into the energy calculation, which then, "invites electricity to go toe-to-toe with gasoline," said Stanley Young, spokesman for the California Air Resources Board told the Times. Or, as the Times put it:
Of course oil companies don't approve.If a slew of AB 32 regulations accomplish their goals, Californians will drive more fuel-efficient cars, live in greener homes, use more energy-efficient appliances, live closer to public transit and use more electricity from renewable sources.
[Source: LA Times | Image: Theresa Thompson – C.C. License 2.0]