Farallon Chief Backs Calif. Climate Change Law

Jul 27 2010 | 11:06am ET

Farallon Capital Management founder Thomas Steyer has joined the fight to stop the repeal of California’s climate change law.

Steyer will donate $5 million to Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs, which is battling Proposition 23—a ballot initiative that would suspend the law—passed four years ago—until California’s unemployment rate drops below 5.5%. That figure has only been reached three times in the last 40 years.

Proponents of Prop. 23—and opponents of the climate change law, AB32—say that AB23 is hurting California’s economic recovery. Meg Whitman, the former eBay CEO and Republican candidate for California governor, calls the law a “dangerous job killer.”

But Steyer—a major Democratic donor—argues that “since AB32 was passed, $3 billion of venture capital has been spent in California,” creating thousands of jobs.

Steyer will also serve as co-chair of Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs, alongside George Schultz, former Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan and a supporter of Whitman’s gubernatorial campaign. California’s Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, signed AB32 in 2006.

“They’re wrong,” Schultz told the San Francisco Chronicle of Whitman and GOP Senate candidate Carly Fiorina, who also supports Prop. 23.

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