This post was cowritten by Araceli Ruano, the Center for American Progress’ senior vice president and director for California. Andrew Fitzgerald Adams also contributed to this post.
Last week, Politico reported on the California Senate debate: “Fiorina’s major stumble came on the issue of Proposition 23.” Carly Fiorina had waffled on whether she supported the landmark climate and clean energy legislation (AB 32) that Prop 23 would kill, since, of course, she supported cap-and-trade during the presidential campaign.
Now the GOP Senate candidate has completed her flip-flop to full support for the dirty energy proposition funded by Big Oil, as the L.A. Times notes.
Fiorina’s campaign finally released a (somewhat) clear message on where she stands on Prop 23 on Friday, calling the measure a “Band-Aid fix and an imperfect solution” to addressing energy and climate issues, but still supporting it. Here is her full statement on Prop 23:
Proposition 23 is a Band-Aid fix and an imperfect solution to addressing our nation’s climate and energy challenges. The real solution to these challenges lies not with a single state taking action on its own, but rather with global action. That’s why we need a comprehensive, national energy solution that funds energy R&D and takes advantage of every source of domestic energy we have — including nuclear, wind, and solar — in an environmentally responsible way. That said, AB 32 is undoubtedly a job killer, and it should be suspended.
It is unclear how a candidate can call for extensive research and legislative action on the climate and energy “challenge” and at the same time support a proposition that would bury the work that California has done on the issue over the last decade. California has set itself up to be the leader in renewable energy through AB 32 and the resulting rules, but Prop 23 would eviscerate all the progress the state has made.
How can she say AB 32 “is undoubtedly a job killer” now when just two years ago she said cap-and-trade “will both create jobs and lower the cost of energy?”
Fiorina seems to be trying to pass the buck to the federal government, in language that is eerily similar to that coming from the climate change deniers at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber, which has endorsed Fiorina, is notorious for questioning the science of global warming. It made headlines when its anti-climate position caused a number of major companies to walk away from the Chamber last year.
Again, as recently as 2008, she advocated for the proposed cap-and-trade system she now opposes. And now she appears to be siding with Texas oil interests over her own state and an approach she embraced just two years ago), as this video makes clear:
What changed? Could it be all the contributions from the Koch brothers, ExxonMobil, Halliburton, Sarah Palin, and Tesoro — all part of a PAC contribution list that reads like a Who’s Who of oil profiteers? The same Koch brothers that have sent a reported $50 million to climate change denying groups have already given thousands of dollars to Fiorina, with more likely on the way.
Fiorina’s vacillation and final decision to support Prop 23 leads one to believe that her support is available to the highest bidder or whatever way the political winds blow. Instead of standing with the thousands of jobs in renewable energy, or the millions of Californians that want the state to lead on climate change, she has chased campaign donations. What a shame.