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Fiorina backs delaying Calif. global warming law
Friday September 3, 2010, 4:59 pm EDT

GOP Senate candidate Fiorina endorses ballot measure to delay California global warming law

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina on Friday endorsed an oil-company funded ballot initiative that seeks to indefinitely delay California's landmark global warming law.

The announcement comes two days after the former Hewlett-Packard Co. chief executive refused to take a position during her debate with Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.

In a statement, Fiorina said she prefers a national energy policy and called California's 2006 law, known as AB32, a "job killer."

"The real solution to these challenges lies not with a single state taking action on its own, but rather with global action," Fiorina said. "That's why we need a comprehensive, national energy policy that funds energy R&D and takes advantage of every source of domestic energy we have - including nuclear, wind and solar - in an environmentally responsible way."

After Wednesday night's debate, Fiorina told reporters she was not ready to take a position on Proposition 23.

"My emphasis in this race is on federal issues," she said. "Look, I'm not trying to be evasive here. I really am trying to indicate that we have to put our emphasis on the right priorities."

Boxer opposes Proposition 23. She said during the debate that Fiorina's indecision at the time could turn into a missed opportunity for the U.S. to take the lead in developing alternative-energy technologies.

"If we overturn California's clean-energy policies, that's going to mean that China takes the lead away from us with solar, that Germany takes the lead away from us with wind," Boxer said. "But I guess my opponent is kind of used to creating jobs in China and other places."

Boxer has repeatedly criticized Fiorina for shipping jobs overseas during her time heading HP in 1999-2005.

A July poll by the Public Policy Institute of California found that two-thirds of Californians favor the state's global warming law, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions statewide to 1990 levels over the next decade. It has been championed by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who says it will encourage an expansion of California's green technology industry.

Forty-five percent of respondents said they believe cutting greenhouse gas emissions will add jobs, compared with 23 percent who said there will be fewer jobs, according to the poll.

Critics of the law say it will impose higher costs on businesses, encouraging many to move their operations out of state.

If approved by voters, Proposition 23 would delay the law from taking effect until California's unemployment falls to 5.5 percent and stays there for four consecutive quarters. That has happened just three times during the past three decades, according to the California Employment Development Department statistics.

California's unemployment rate is 12.3 percent.

Oil companies have contributed $6.2 million to the Proposition 23 campaign as of Friday, according to the secretary of state's website.

Most of that money is from two Texas-based oil companies, Valero and Tesoro, including a recent $1 million donation from Tesoro that was publicly reported on Thursday.

Source: Associated Press

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