California’s independent Legislative Analyst opinion on the costs and benefits of passage of Proposition 23 in the November election were released October 1st. On balance, the LAO concludes that lower regulatory costs and lower energy prices that can reasonably be expected by suspending AB32 greenhouse gas emissions requirements in California outweigh the downside risks.
The LAO reaches this conclusion because much of the energy efficiency requirements contributing to lower energy intensity and improved energy utilization in California are already embedded in statute and will likely continue even is voters suspend AB32. The major impact of the suspension is the end to the proposed cap and trade requirements and setting a fixed reduction target for greenhouse gas emissions.
Asked how long a suspension of AB32 might remain in effect, the LAO responds that California’s unemployment rate is forecast to remain above 8% for at least the next five years.