Utility giant: No on Prop 23

PG&E opposes a ballot initiative to halt the state’s global-warming law

Powerhouse PG&E is now among the cast of companies, environmental groups, and civic and labor organizations opposed to Proposition 23, the November ballot initiative seeking to suspend California’s landmark global-warming law.

Prop 23 is spearheaded by local Republican Assemblyman Dan Logue, and is backed by big oil companies Valero Energy Corp. and Tesoro Corp. Both operate refineries in California and would be affected by implementation of Assembly Bill 32 (the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006), which Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger pushed to curb emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

If passed, Logue’s initiative would halt the law until state unemployment rates drop below 5.5 percent, effectively killing the move to reduce the state’s pollution. In a press release, PG&E CEO Peter Darbee notes that mitigating global warming makes financial sense for California: “Studies show that unchecked climate change could cost California’s economy alone tens of billions of dollars a year in losses to agriculture, tourism and other sectors.”