California, a state widely known for its stringent emission laws and guidelines that restrict greenhouse gas emissions may see a step backwards if the leading GOP candidate for governor of the state is elected.The Republican candidate leading the race to replace Gov. Schwarzenegger is Meg Whitman, former eBay CEO. Whitman intends to suspend the state's new global warming law by one year if elected governor and this does not sit well with many environmentally conscious voters.
The law in question is referred to as California Assembly Bill 32. The bill specifically lays out guidelines for the state that would help cut greenhouse emissions to levels seen back in 1990. The bill outlines several changes and guidelines that would be adopted statewide to rollback emissions by 2020.
California is viewed as the leading state in the U.S. that enforces laws to diminish carbon dioxide and other harmful pollutants. Many of the states previous laws have slowly spread throughout the nation. Bill 32 and its success would impact more than the state of California.
Whitman does not outright reject the bill. Rather, she wants to hold off on implementation of the bill until its economic impact can be understood in depth. Whitman suggests delaying the bill 1 year would help to better understand its overall impact. Whitman believes that the bill could temporarily put 2.2 million workers statewide out of jobs.
A spokesman for the state's air board said in contrast to Whitman's remarks, ""A.B. 32 has already sent a signal to the economy, resulting in a flood of venture capital and investment into the green and clean tech sectors. Stopping A.B. 32 for any amount of time will dry up this investment and jeopardize California's lead in green tech."
The AB 32 climate law is a leading concern for voters and politicians within the state. Some have proposed allowing voters to decided on the bill by placing it on the November ballot.
Whitman will square off against state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and former Rep. Tom Campbell at the GOP primaries on June 8th ahead of the election in November.