In The New York Times on Monday, I write about how opponents of Proposition 23, the California ballot measure that would suspend the state’s global warming law, are outspending the oil industry interests backing the initiative:
At the start of the campaign for California’s Proposition 23, the ballot measure that would suspend the state’s global warming law, opponents darkly warned that the Texas oil companies backing the initiative would spend as much as $50 million to win the election.
But with three weeks until Election Day, it is the No on 23 coalition of environmentalists, investors and Silicon Valley technology companies that is raking in the cash, taking in nearly twice as much money as the Yes on 23 campaign.
As of Monday, the No on 23 forces had raised $16.3 million to the Yes campaign’s $8.9 million, according to California Secretary of State records. Over the past two weeks, nearly $7 million has flowed into No campaign coffers while contributions to the Yes effort had fallen off dramatically.
With the failure of federal climate change legislation, considerable national attention is focused on Proposition 23, which marks the first time a global warming law has been put before voters.
Representatives from the Yes campaign did not return a request for comment. But Steven Maviglio, a spokesman for the main No campaign, said he still expects the oil and petrochemical interests that account for 97 percent of the Yes contributions to “drop a nuclear bomb” in the coming weeks.
“You don’t launch this kind of campaign without knowing from the get-go what you’re going to spend,” said Mr. Maviglio, a longtime Democratic operative in California. “Did we catch them off guard on how much the business community in the state would spend to defend the law? Yes. But they’re still going to blitz us.”
A few hours after the interview with Mr. Maviglio on Friday, the Yes campaign reported its first sizable donation since Sept. 13, with Marathon Petroleum of Findlay, Ohio, contributing $500,000.
California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 requires the state to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Proposition 23 would suspend the law, known as A.B. 32, until the state unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent for four consecutive quarters, something that has happened only three times in the past 40 years
A recent Los Angeles Times/University of Southern California poll showed voters evenly split over Proposition 23, with 21 percent undecided. But a Reuters/Ipsos poll published Tuesday found the ballot initiative losing 49 percent to 37 percent.
Campaign finance records show that the No campaign has attracted big donations from Silicon Valley venture capitalists, New York hedge fund managers, national environmental groups and green technology executives.
You can read the rest of the story here.