As the race for governor heats up, Democratic nominee Jerry Brown has put his confidence for job creation in the green sector. On his website Sunday, Brown announced his plan to create 500,000 new jobs in the state within the next 10 years. It's not really his idea, just an endorsement of AB 32.
Why would he make that announcement? Because he knows that AB 32 could be a deciding factor when voters go to the polls in November.
His opponent, Meg Whitman isn't negative on AB 32 but wants to hold off implementing a lot of the rules for at least another year. She wants to find out what the federal government will do as far as setting industry standards.
But doesn't the rest of the nation typically turn to California to set the standard for this type of thing? After all wasn't it California that first mandated catalytic converters in cars and trucks? And wasn't it California that was the first state to have a Clean Water Act? A Clean Air Act? Again, Meg's hasn't said she's against AB 32. She's just holding off the issue with a whip and chair.
Jobs and the economy are the two biggest issues facing these candidates between now and November. Maybe the grass really is greener on the other side of the AB 32 fence. Brown is clearly counting on it with his strong support of the law.
But Meg hasn't by any means gone the way of Prop 23. That's the measure aimed at suspending AB 32.
How many times have you heard the phrase, "Follow the money?" Well, lets take a look at a couple of realities. Roughly 96 percent of the money backing Prop 23 is coming from mega petroleum manufacturers Valero and Tesoro. They're not based in California but they know it's citizens use a lot of their product. A product that is approaching $3.50 a gallon in San Diego County. That adds up to a boatload of Benjamins.
How about AB 32? According to Steve Maviglio, about $10 billion in out of state venture capital has gone into 32. Maviglio worked with Speaker Nunez on the measure and has lived this issue for nearly 6 years. He points out that this money comes from entities that see the potential in clean renewable energy and recognize that California is leading the national charge. Chew on those numbers and draw your own conclusions.
AB 32 will certainly be a hot button issue as we move toward November. Brown is putting his candidacy behind it. Will Meg eventually do the same?