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Former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz has signed on as honorary co-chair of Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs, a coalition opposing a proposed ballot measure to suspend the implementation of AB32, California's landmark law to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Shultz, a prominent Republican, said in a statement that the proposed initiative would derail "California's innovative effort to stimulate movement toward a cleaner and more secure energy future."

"This misguided proposition will seriously harm our effort to encourage the growing entrepreneurial ventures that hold the promise of important change toward cleaner energy," he said in the statement.

"As a former Secretary of State, I see our dependence on foreign oil as one of the greatest threats to national security, and the Dirty Energy Proposition would undermine efforts to break that dependence."

The measure, which has received significant backing from a Texas-based oil firm and Occidental Petroleum, would suspend AB32 until the unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent for a year. As we noted in today's AM Alert, the initiative campaign, California Jobs Initiative, plans to turn in today 800,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot. Proponents needed about 435,000 valid voter signatures to make it on the November ballot.

Shultz's position on AB32 puts him at odds with one candidate he is supporting in the upcoming elections -- GOP gubernatorial hopeful Meg Whitman. Whitman backs suspending the implementation of AB32 for one year, although she has stopped short of endorsing the initiative.


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