Leaders of a drive to suspend California's landmark greenhouse gas emissions law claim they will submit enough voter signatures Monday to place the issue before voters.
The California Jobs Initiative Campaign will submit more than the required 435,000 voter signatures to qualify for the November ballot, spokeswoman Anita Mangels said.
"We're headed to the ballot," she said.
The campaign targets Assembly Bill 32, pushed four years ago by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic legislative leaders to require California to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
The proposed initiative would suspend AB 32 until the state's unemployment level drops to 5.5 percent for at least a year.
The signature-gathering campaign has been led, in part, by a Texas-based oil firm, Valero, and by Occidental Petroleum and the conservative Adam Smith Foundation.
Opponents of AB 32 contend its implementation could be financially devastating to the state's fragile economy.
"Voters have a right to have a say in whether the the state is going to risk a million jobs, or more, and to spend billions of dollars on programs that will not have any impact on global warming," Mangels said.
Supporters of AB 32 counter that it will benefit the state by attracting massive numbers of new clean-energy jobs. Suspension would hurt California's economy and its environment, said Steve Maviglio, spokesman for a coalition fighting the proposed ballot measure.
"With their dirty energy proposition, the oil companies want to do to California's air and economy what they're doing to the Gulf Coast," Maviglio said. "The polluters' ballot measure will be an economic and environmental disaster."
Leaders of the initiative drive have scheduled Monday press conferences in Sacramento, San Diego and Santa Clara to promote the submission of voter signatures to county registrars statewide.