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If Proposition 23 passes, will other greenhouse-gas laws fall?

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The importance of Prop. 23, say Dr. Nasr and others, is a potential domino effect.

If regulations to rein in carbon dioxide and other planet-heating emissions are thwarted in California, “these dirty-energy interests will ramp up their efforts to stifle new energy policies in Congress and other states,” Gene Karpinsky, president of the League of Conservation Voters, told the Los Angeles Times.

Pro and con

The two Texas-based oil companies behind the initiative – Valero and Tesoro – counter that the proposition makes sense in tough economic times. “We would like voters to know that Proposition 23 is a common-sense approach to protecting California's economy while preserving the state's stringent environmental regulations,” says Bill Day, spokesman for San Antonio-based Valero Energy Corp.

Last week, the Washington-based League of Conservation Voters contributed $1.2 million to the “No” campaign, calling the vote “the single most important race in the country,” said Mr. Karpinski. The initiative would suspend implementation of the global-warming law, also called Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32), until the state’s jobless rate drops below 5.5 percent for more than a year.

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