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Debate Examines Prop. 23

November 15, 2010

On Oct. 27, the USF School of Law Environmental Law Society hosted a debate on Proposition 23, an initiative on the Nov. 2 ballot that would have suspended California’s climate change law.

 

Proposition 23 was defeated by California voters by a 23% margin.

Alex Jackson of the Natural Resources Defense Council and Doug Halaand, consultant to the Republican Caucus, debated the initiative's pros and cons before a packed room of students. Halaand took the “Yes on 23” side, arguing that the state’s climate change law, AB 32, adversely impacts California’s economy and that it makes sense to suspend AB32 until the unemployment rate improves.

Jackson disagreed, asserting that California’s green energy economy is currently one of its fastest-growing sectors and that its growth depends upon upholding California’s climate law.

The event was moderated by Professor Alice Kaswan, who also introduced the speakers.

“The speakers helped the audience move past the rhetoric to illuminate the arguments for and against Prop 23—a proposition of great significance not only in California, but as a closely watched national barometer of the public’s willingness to take action on climate change,” Kaswan said.