Further, and further, proof that California politics is a dazzlingly misleading house of horrifying mirrors: Proposition 23, which suspends State Law AB 32 (requiring greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020) until California’s unemployment drops to 5.5% or less for four consecutive years, is hardly a California Proposition.  When the vast majority of financial backers supporting a proposition are out-of-state corporations, it’s basically laughable that such a bill would be considered to be in the best interests of said state.

What’s more, the largest supporters are, of course, oil companies or those with vested oil interests: Valero and Tesoro, Marathon Oil, the Adam Smith Foundation and the Koch Brothers, from San Antonio, Houston, Wichita and Smithville, Missouri respectively.  That’s just part of the list.  Particularly nefarious are those accursed Koch Brothers, enemies of all things even a smidgen right and good; please read this exhaustively revealing New Yorker article for more.  Also, KQED put together a nifty Google map marking the locations of all major Prop 23 financial supporters and opponents around the States; you’ll notice that the vast majority of opponents are native Californian organizations.  Eureka!

And while the mud gets slung back and forth over the various impacts of 23, from statewide job loss/gain to economic impact on taxpayers to the future of green technology development, there are sound sources that are wading through the muck and exposing it for the scam that it is without even trying. The U.C. Berkeley School of Law’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment has released an enlightened report outlining all possible impacts of 23 on California’s present hurdles and future goals in setting a national standard for environmentally friendly practices.  Most importantly, the report gives an in-depth explanation of AB 32 as its core, without which Prop 23 wouldn’t exist.

And although the Governator isn’t known to have the most effective environmental track record in California’s history, Schwarzenegger must be given some kudos for throwing his weight behind the defeat of 23, as the signing of AB 32 was a defining moment for his office.  Having recently returned from climate change talks in China, Arnold seems inspired and personally committed to his stance, even hosting a fundraising dinner at his home.  Of course, California usually responds to star power in political situations, even when the Hollywood celebrity and their own governor are one and the same.

Thus far, the close majority of Californians are not letting the oil-soaked wool being pulled down their faces, as the LA Times reports.  But the margin is slim, and as the weeks draw down to voting time the Prop 23 circus will only grow in fervor and deceptiveness.  Lest it be forgotten in the wake of TV ads and hearsay, information is the only defense against mania and hype; do the research and you will not be deceived on election day!

-Jeremy Pearson