Your overview of Proposition 23, which would suspend California's forward-thinking law to limit greenhouse gas emissions (Assembly Bill 32), correctly stated that this proposition would undermine the California's growing green energy sector (“A voting guide to California state propositions,” Page 3, Oct. 15). Green energy currently employs 500,000 people in California and has attracted over $10 billion in investment over the past five years. But your discussion failed to note the immense economic and environmental costs of slowing California's effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to a report by two University of California, Berkeley, economists, the increase in heat- and air-quality-related health care costs in California could total as much as $24 billion annually by 2100. Moreover, runoff from the Sierra snowpack that drives California’s agriculture is projected to decline by 25 to 40 percent by 2050. As temperatures rise, global warming is causing more extreme weather events, such as flooding, drought and fire; these threaten lives and result in huge costs to taxpayers. Whereas proponents of this legislation, primarily two Texas oil companies, argue that suspending Prop. 23 would help the California economy, in fact the economic and environmental costs are enormous. That explains why hundreds of businesses, environmental organizations, social justice groups and health care professionals oppose Prop. 23.
Karen Holl, Felton