Feature

The cutthroat politics of going green

On the ballot this fall in California is Proposition 23, which will suspend the state's strict limits on greenhouse-gas emissions.

In November, Californians will vote on a ballot initiative to suspend enforcement of the state’s tough limits on greenhouse-gas emissions until the economy recovers, said Vauhini Vara in The Wall Street Journal. You’d think the entire petroleum industry would back Proposition 23, as the pro-suspension ballot initiative is called. Not so.

While oil refiners such as Valero Energy and Tesoro are spending millions to promote Prop 23, major integrated energy companies like BP and ExxonMobil, which do everything from exploration to refining, are standing down. California’s emissions limits, in place since 2006, grow more strict over time and could cause severe problems, even bankruptcy, for refiners. If Prop 23 does them in, the majors would be happy to pick up the refining slack.

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