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Saturday, September 25, 2010

California voters split on greenhouse gas law

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Most Californians say global warming is a serious issue but are split on an upcoming ballot measure about the state's pioneering climate law, a poll indicates.

California's sweeping global warming law requires greenhouse gas emissions by power plants, factories and vehicles be slashed to 1990 levels by the end of the decade, but Proposition 23 on the November ballot would suspend the 2006 law until the state's unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent for an entire year, USA Today reported.

The state's unemployment is currently more than 12 percent, and California rarely has a yearlong level below 5.5 percent, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Environmental advocates argue the initiative would in effect put the law on indefinite hold, the Times said.
In a poll by the Times and the University of Southern California, more than two-thirds of likely voters said global warming is a "very important" or "somewhat important" issue to them, but only 40 percent favor the ballot measure and 38 percent oppose it.

A ballot initiative with less than 50 percent support at this point of a campaign typically has trouble because undecided voters often end up voting no, the Times said.

Proposition 23 is backed by business groups and out-of-state oil companies, and is opposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who signed the greenhouse gas bill into law.

The poll surveyed 1,511 registered voters Sept. 15-22 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.


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