Proposition 23, which failed to pass on the November ballot, would have temporarily suspended the state’s 2006 greenhouse gas regulations until the unemployment rate, now at 12.5 percent, remained at 5.5 percent for a year.
Opponents pumped more than $36 million into the campaign against the measure, while supporters headed by out-of-state oil companies spent about $10.5 million.
The ballot measure, which failed by a margin of 61.6 percent to 38.4 percent, sought to freeze the 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act, a law that will curb heat-trapping industrial emissions beginning in 2012 and start reducing dependency on fossil fuels in 2020.
Oil companies championed the proposition, claiming that the law would do further damage to California’s already-crippled economy by driving businesses out of the state. They said it should be postponed until the state regained financial security.
Steve Mavilglio, a spokesman for the opponents to Proposition 23, said the measure was defeated because of state and national groups that believe green jobs will help California’s economy rebound.
“California’s business community rallied to save the fastest-growing business sector in the state,” Maviglio told AP. “It also became a flashpoint nationally for the future of clean energy.”
The state’s unemployment rate has held at 5.5 percent for a year just three times in three decades, AP reports.