Sep 29, 2010 8:39 PM by Ariel Wesler
Local veterans groups joined together today in support of Proposition 23. The initiative would temporarily repeal A.B. 32, the Global Warming Act which requires companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
Vets say Prop 23 would protect more than a million jobs, but opponents say it would keep California dependent on fossil fuels.
Veterans say Proposition 23 will protect jobs in this tough economy and help ensure men and women returning from overseas can find work.
"We all like clean air. We all like good emissions and all that, but we're asking just to delay it a few years until the unemployment rate goes down," said Willie Galvan, State Commander of the American GI Forum of California.
They say tougher restrictions will force businesses to cut jobs and even leave the state.
"Here in Santa Maria, companies are offered opportunities all the time from other states to move there, where there's tax incentives and there aren't these types of regulations," said David Cross withe Santa Maria Valley Economic Development Commission.
Supporters estimate the average small business would pay $50,000 more each year to comply with the new rules.
"We have a clinic and a head start building that we own and it would cost over $100,000 to retrofit our building just to make it meet A.B. 32," Galvan said.
"California was the world leader in renewable energy. we can do that again," said Gubernatorial Candidate Jerry Brown during Tuesday night's debate.
Brown criticized Prop 23 and spoke about the need to invest in Calfornia's growing green economy.
"You can put people to work retrofitting the inefficient buildings in California by the hundreds of thousands," Brown said.
But supporters say that won't make up for the number of jobs lost.
If Prop 23 passes, it would repeal the Global Warming Act until California's unemployment rate drops to 5.5% or less for a full year. The last time that happened was in 2007.
The American GI Forum says it does not favor political candidates, but will take on stance on political issues they feel will benefit veterans and their families.
Prop 23 Field Poll
For more information on both sides of Prop 23, visit
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