SAN FRANCISCO (October 17, 2012) — National, state and local environmental organizations, environmental justice advocates and State Senator Mark Leno today held a press conference to urge Californians concerned with environmental health and clean energy to reject Proposition 32. The group said the ballot measure—designed to remove the voice of working people in the political process while exempting big businesses and billionaires and—would be a first step to dismantling California’s clean energy leadership.
“The Sierra Club is strongly opposed to Proposition 32,” said Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. “Backed by out-of-state billionaires like the Koch Brothers, who see California’s clean energy progress as a threat, Prop 32 would silence the voices of our state’s working families who share our vision for good clean energy jobs and clean air and water.”
The International Forum on Globalization released a report at the event outlining that the same billionaire funders seeking to silence the voice of working families through Proposition 32 have a dual agenda to attack clean energy and environmental laws. The Kochs have been linked to:
· $1 million in 2010 to overturn California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act.
· $4 million through the American Future Fund to support proposition 32.
· At least $656 million on attacks on environmental protections and workers’ rights.
“Big corporations and billionaire businessmen, the Koch Brothers, are bankrolling Proposition 32,” said Victor Menotti, Executive Director of the International Forum on Globalization. “Sadly, their support of Proposition 32 is only a small part of a larger, coordinated effort to undermine environmental protections and the rights of workers across the nation, not just here in California.”
Previously, the Koch brothers, CEO and founders of Koch Industries, provided funding to Proposition 23, the 2010 ballot proposition to rescind California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act, and since then, have funded numerous attacks on clean energy initiatives around the country.
“As a legislator, I see environmental and labor advocates working together to advance energy efficiency policies and to scale up renewable energy,” said Senator Mark Leno (District 3 – San Francisco and Marin). “I’m also aware that the billionaire financiers attacking California’s working families through their support of Prop 32 are the same people who funded the attempted repeal of our landmark green house gas emissions law in 2010.”
“It is important for every Californian who cares about growing clean energy jobs and fighting climate change to understand the threat Proposition 32 poses to realizing that vision.” said Lisa Hoyos, California Director of the BlueGreen Alliance, a clean energy advocacy organization. “We will work until Election Day to ensure that environmentally minded voters stand firmly against Proposition 32.”
Also participating in the event were Jenesse Miller, Communications Director for the California League of Conservation Voters; Roger Kim, Executive Director for the Asian Pacific Environmental Network; and Laura Wisland, Senior Energy Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists. These organizations, along with Communities for a Better Environment, have come out in opposition to Proposition 32, which received $4 million from the American Future Fund linked to the Koch brothers.
Weakening labor’s political influence through Proposition 32 would represent a major blow to the ability to implement policies to grow clean energy jobs; an agenda strongly shared by environmental leaders and environmental justice communities.