Stopping Proposition 23: Five things you can do to fight global warming and advance clean energy

No to Proposition 23!People are always asking me what they can do right now on behalf of the climate and clean energy.

Perhaps the top near-term priority is to defeat the fossil fuel-funded Prop 23 effort to repeal California’s clean energy climate laws this November.

Here are five things you can do to win this fight:

  1. Visit the “No on 23” website, learn the facts & sign up:
  2. Educate yourself on how California’s climate & energy laws have created companies & jobs:
  3. Tell your friends by email, on Facebook, at work, & everywhere else.
  4. Participate in the debate. Write letters to the editor and post comments on blogs & websites.
  5. Contribute (click here). The other side’s leader, right-wing California Assemblyman Dan Logue, has publicly said he expects the oil companies to spend $50 million.

Here are some talking points:

  • Pollution: Prop 23 will overturn California’s air pollution standards and damage public health.
  • Deception: Prop 23’s funders are out-of-state oil companies who don’t want competition from made-in clean energy California jobs. They aren’t concerned about California’s economy or the prices working families pay for their energy.
  • Jobs:  California’s clean tech economy has been the one growth area during the recession. There are already 500,000 clean jobs, including 161,000 in manufacturing and construction. There are 12,000 clean tech companies doing business here while over $9 billion in private investment has been made since 2005.
  • For these three reasons, Prop 23 will cost all Californians, more money as we clean up increased pollution,  pay higher oil and gas, prices, and lose economic development. The pro-pollution side has opened up a two-front war on climate and energy. Having won the fight in Congress for now, they are gunning for the nation’s leading climate & energy state. Further, the pro-pollution side has made Prop 23 far bigger than one state and — with threats to policies from the renewable electricity standard to the cap on carbon pollution to home energy efficiency standards — far larger than one policy.

Read Rebecca Lefton’s posts on Prop 23’s economic impact, national repercussions, and funding from Texas oil companies.

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14 Responses to Stopping Proposition 23: Five things you can do to fight global warming and advance clean energy

  1. homunq says:

    I agree, the prop 23 fight is crucial. Another top near-term priority is pushing filibuster reform. It’s almost impossible for climate legislation to get 60 votes in the Senate; it’s not so hard at all for it to get 50. That makes filibuster reform just about a necessary and sufficient condition for US action, which would be of immense importance on a global scale.

    The link above is a Daily Kos petition which they’ll use to get meetings with Senators to ask them to sign on to the idea of rules reform in general. If they can get 50 senators signed on, then the debate about specific proposals for reform can’t be swept under the rug any more. That’s the first hurdle: most senators, even if they’re not opposed to reform, would prefer to duck the issue, and we have to push it to the forefront.

    (Senators would, of course, notice if Prop 23 passed, and that would make a difference; say, one or two votes fewer for any given proposal. But that’s a fraction of the difference that filibuster reform would make.)

  2. Tim L. says:

    That Calif. Assemblyman’s real name should be “Ideologue.”

  3. Jim Groom says:

    I’ve e-mailed both of our senators (California) regarding reform of the filibuster and its use in the Senate. As much as I approve of my senators I have to admit that neither has provided a definitive answer. I realize that answering the folks back at home can be time consuming, but answers such as ‘it is difficult to make change in Senate’ are not enough. Changing the filibuster is indeed a double-edged sword and perhaps in the future, if and when, the current majority is the minority they just might want to use the device themselves. I certainly my fellow citizens are up to dumping Prop 23, but in this day and age I find little to be positive about concerning the ability of citizens to see long term or what is in their best interest.

  4. homunq says:

    JimGroom@3: I’m a California (expat) voter too, so I’ve gotten the same non-response from Feinstein and Boxer. You might be interested to know that Feinstein has specifically tried to throw cold water on the idea of filibuster reform. If you want to write her a somewhat stronger letter in that knowledge, be my guest.

    As for the point about reform being a double-edged sword: you’re right. There are several responses to that. Personally, I believe that them’s the breaks; democracy is a double-edged sword, but better than the alternatives (in this case, deadlock). I also think that, as the link above argues, “There’s no way Republicans are going to allow Democrats veto their agenda … out of loyalty to a 1970s-era compromise”, so the filibusters’ protections are illusory. And finally, reforming it doesn’t have to mean abolishing it. If it required 41 explicit no votes to uphold a filibuster… then, a few days later, 44… 47… 50… and finally 51 (including the VP – to preserve the constitutional role as a tie-breaker), the filibuster would be a legitimate opportunity to rally opposition, but not the politically-cheap flat-out veto that it has become.

  5. John Hollenberg says:

    I tried to contribute under #5 with the link “click here”, but the donation site said my credit card was declined. Tried again to make sure I typed the numbers in correctly–same result. Called my credit card company to make sure there wasn’t a problem with my card. They said everything is OK with my card, but that there was a problem with the software setup at the donation site. It could be that I used my work address, but a personal credit card; don’t know. Just an FYI.

  6. Typo
    Broken link on #1
    You might want to correct the link as

  7. Deborah Stark says:

    Re: John Hollenberg__Post #5

    The address you give to the site to which you’re submitting a donation (or via which you’re making an online purchase) has to match the address your bank has on record for your credit/debit card. In other words, your billing address. Try again – you’ll probably get it through this time.

  8. Andy says:

    @homunq #1,

    I could not agree with you more. Just signed the petition (it’s a great idea). Too bad more progressive non-profits have not picked up on the theme of filibuster reform…

  9. Andy says:

    Oh, and I should say, highlighting the battle in CA regarding Prop 23 is spot on. I have donated myself and would encourage others to send some funding that way. It is one of the most effective uses of political donations you can make, in my opinion.

    Prop 23 needs to be defeated, and needs to be defeated by an absolute landslide.

  10. Doug Meserve says:

    I’ve heard it mentioned that the problem with the filibuster is not necessarily the filibuster itself, but rather the relatively recent introduction of an ability to handle bills in parallel. Apparently it was strictly serial before maybe the late 80’s, and a filibuster would stop all Senate business. But now, a bill that doesn’t get a cloture vote (i.e. is being filibustered) is just set aside, and can be effectively forgotten.

    In other words, a filibuster is now a lot cheaper that it used to be. A lot.

    Fixing that might be the form that “filibuster reform” should take.

  11. Paine says:

    •Pollution: Prop 23 will overturn California’s air pollution standards and damage public health.

    I’m sorry.. AB 32 is meant to curb carbon emissions and not particulate matter. Did you not get the memo or does deception not count for the self righteous? Maybe you should do us all a favor and lead by example.. hold your breath the next time you feel the urge to exhale and “pollute”.

  12. fj2 says:

    Near the North Pole, Looking at a Disaster –

    “Dsaster a te Top of the World,” Thomas Homer-Dixon, NYTimes, Aug 22, 2010

  13. fj2 says:

    “Inception” is a complex film in part about planting the seed of an idea for the breakup of the world’s largest energy company through the use of dreamscapes.

  14. fj2 says:

    “Disaster at the Top of the World,” Thomas Homer-Dixon, NY Times, Aug 22, 2010

    ” . . . Plan Z would address many critical questions: How fast could carbon emissions from automobiles and energy production be ramped down . . . ?”

    The answer is very fast for automobiles to less than 1%.