California Faces Interstate Lawsuit -- If Voters Don't Pass Prop. 23

Don't touch that greenhouse gas, warn out-of-state attorneys general...
If California voters don't pass Proposition 23 -- which would pull the rug out from under the state's 2006 law limiting greenhouse gas emissions -- a gang of out-of-state attorneys general have threatened to file suit against California.

The AGs of Alabama, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Texas have threatened a lawsuit against California citing the Constitution's interstate commerce clause.

AB 32, which Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed in '06, mandates 80 percent state carbon emission reductions by 2050. This year's Prop. 23 -- which is largely funded by oil giants -- would forbid implementing the law until the state unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent; that's less than half California's current 12-percent rate.

"We cannot meet the energy needs of the United States if we face a patchwork of different laws regulating energy," North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem told California Watch. "We are going to test the limits of how much you can constrain interstate commerce in the name of climate change."

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