If approved by the California electorate this November, Proposition 23 will suspend the implementation of AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act, until the State’s unemployment rate declines to 5.5% or less for four consecutive quarters. AB 32 requires a reduction in the State’s greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 — about 25-30% below the baseline projection.
In a just-published study for the Pacific Research Institute, Dr. Benjamin Zycher estimates that adoption of Proposition 23 will increase aggregate employment in the State by a bit less than 150,000 in 2011, about half a million in 2012, and 1.3 million in 2020, relative to the case in which AB 32 goes into effect.
The California Air Resources Board projects that AB 32 will decrease State-wide energy consumption by 4.5% in 2012 and 9.4% in 2020. Energy, of course, is used to support economic activity: “workers use energy to accomplish their tasks.”
Zycher derives AB 32’s employment impacts from CARB’s energy-consumption projections during 2010-2020 and data on the historical relationship between energy consumption and employment in California.