Proposition 23 would have suspended AB 32, California’s 2006 global warming initiative, until unemployment fell under 5.5% for one year. The campaign was bitter, with both sides claiming doom and gloom whether Prop 23 passed or failed. The electorate spoke loudly and soundly defeated Prop 23, 61%-39%.
With Prop 23’s defeat, AB 32 implementation actions, already well underway, will proceed as scheduled. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is primarily responsible for implementing AB 32. CARB already has met many of AB 32’s goals, including adopting early action measures in 2007, creating an inventory of California’s greenhouse gases (GHGs) in 2008, publishing a comprehensive GHG-reduction scoping plan in 2009, and drafting emissions reduction regulations in 2010. With Prop 23 no longer looming, CARB can move towards its next goal of adoption of GHG emissions limits and emission reduction measures that should go forward as planned in early 2011, to then take effect January 1, 2012. CARB also will adopt a market-based cap-and-trade system that limits GHG emissions from various industries and provides economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions.