(SAN FRANCISCO) – California-based Levi Strauss & Co., eBay Inc., Symantec, Clif Bar & Company and The North Face – all internationally known brand names – today urged California voters to reject the Proposition 23 ballot initiative. They said it would effectively kill the state’s landmark air pollution and clean energy law – and with it the kind of technological innovation opportunities that create many jobs.
The companies are members of the Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy coalition, known as BICEP. The coalition said in a statement that the landmark law, AB 32, should be preserved because it “would stimulate clean-energy job creation, protect public health and substantially decrease the state’s dependence on fossil fuels.”
The statement says that Proposition 23, which technically calls only for a delay in implementing AB 32, “would effectively kill it.” That’s because the claimed suspension of the law that would come under Proposition 23 can only be lifted in economic circumstances that rarely exist. (The full statement is included below.)
“The goals of AB32 – job creation, innovation, and business opportunity – are at the core of the way we run our business at eBay,” said Tod Cohen, eBay’s Vice President of Government Relations. “We have seen first-hand the green benefits, as well as the business benefits, of investing in new, disruptive technologies that create efficiencies and change the way we consume energy. We are proud to stand next to other California companies, organizations and individuals in support of this important law.”
Amy Leonard, Senior Vice President for Levi’s Product Management at Levi Strauss & Co., said her company also opposes Proposition 23’s planned delay in implementing AB32. “Levi Strauss & Co. believes AB32 provides California businesses critical tools to promote energy efficiency and encourage energy and climate innovation. We support implementation of this legislation without delay.”
Approval of Proposition 23, said BICEP’s statement, “would risk California’s market leadership in one of the great emerging industries of the 21st Century, along with thousands of jobs that would go to other states and countries where energy and climate policy are far more friendly to innovation and job creation.”
BICEP companies have long publicly supported comprehensive national energy and climate legislation – legislation that limits greenhouse gas pollution and spurs innovation in clean energy and conservation. A number of BICEP companies report that a changing global climate is already directly affecting their business models – from supply chains to staple crops like cotton and coffee that are core ingredients of their products – as well as threatening human health.
“Proposition 23 should be seen for what it is,” said the coalition’s statement, “a mechanism that benefits a narrow list of backers while placing the economic health of the rest of California at risk. BICEP companies – all of us with significant business ties here – believe its passage would undermine California’s role as a national leader and could lead to the rollback of environmental protections in other states, at a time when both our environment and our nation’s economy badly need to advance on these fronts.”
BICEP coalition companies also include Nike, Starbucks, Timberland, Aspen Skiing Company, Best Buy, Ben & Jerry’s, Eileen Fisher, Jones Lang LaSalle, Outdoor Industry Association, Seventh Generation, Stonyfield Farm, Target Corporation and Gap Inc.
BICEP’s full statement on Proposition 23 follows below:
BICEP Companies Urge a “No” Vote on
California’s Prop. 23, Citing Economic Harm
Members of BICEP – Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy – oppose Proposition 23 and urge all California voters to defeat this measure in November’s upcoming election.
Approval of this proposition would cripple the state’s landmark clean energy law AB32 – historic legislation that places a cost on emitting damaging greenhouse gas pollution. The first law of its kind in the world, AB 32 would stimulate clean-energy job creation, protect public health and substantially decrease the state’s dependence on fossil fuels.
Delaying this law under Proposition 23’s provisions would effectively kill it. That would risk California’s market leadership in one of the great emerging industries of the 21st Century, along with thousands of jobs that would go to other states and countries where energy and climate policy are far more friendly to innovation and job creation.
Proposition 23 should be seen for what it is: a mechanism that benefits a narrow list of backers while placing the economic health of the rest of California at risk. BICEP companies – many of us based in California and all with significant business ties here – believe its passage would undermine California’s role as a national leader and could lead to the rollback of environmental protections in other states, at a time when both our environment and our nation’s economy badly need to advance on these fronts. Finally, Proposition 23 would set back our nation’s transition to cleaner energy and greater energy independence.
As consumer companies deeply invested in the growth and economic well being of California, we strongly urge California voters to reject Proposition 23 by voting “NO.” Let’s keep California in the lead on job creation, innovation and economic growth.
Ceres is the largest coalition of investors, environmental and public interest organizations in North America. Ceres launched and coordinates the BICEP coalition, whose members include Levi Strauss & Co., Nike, Starbucks, Sun Microsystems, The Timberland Company, Aspen Skiing Company, Clif Bar & Company, eBay, Gap, Jones Lang LaSalle, The North Face, Seventh Generation, Ben and Jerry’s, Eileen Fisher, Stonyfield Farm Inc., and Symantec.