Peter Lehman is right that Prop. 23, the initiative to postpone California's climate action law, will have international consequences ("Airing Out Prop. 23," Oct. 27).
Prop. 23 would undermine greenhouse gas reduction programs other U.S. states and Canadian provinces that have agreed to work cooperatively with California to reduce emissions. It would set back efforts to pass a climate change policy in the U.S. Congress and in Canada's Parliament.
Prop. 23 would also absolve China, India, Brazil, Mexico and other developing countries of any moral obligation to slow down their own skyrocketing carbon-dioxide emissions. If the most populous state in the USA is not willing to do its part, why should they?
California's climate change law, AB32, will have costs, and some companies with lots of carbon-dioxide emissions will suffer. But AB32 will also spur new investment in clean technology, creating jobs in the process.
The law will have to be fine-tuned to be effective. For example, if AB32 causes firms like Arcata's O&M Industries (mentioned in your story) to lose business to out-of-state firms that are running older, less fuel-efficient equipment, that would defeat the law's purpose. Instead of reducing emissions, it would just shift them to another state or country.
This phenomenon of "leakage" has been a problem in Europe, where emission caps have been in effect since 2005. But the European Union is adjusting its policies to deal with leakage, and California can too.
Vote no on Prop. 23. Tell anyone you know who's thinking about staying home on Nov. 2 to do the same. This will be one of the most important votes we'll ever make.
Let's show the world that we're ready to do our fair share in the fight against global warming.
Jim Hight, Arcata
In the Oct. 7 story about Prop. 23, Rob McBeth of O&M was quoted saying his company won't be able to afford to upgrade or replace equipment that doesn't get much use, such as their heavy-lift forklifts, to meet the new emissions requirements. "Which means we'll just have to stop bidding on heavy load jobs, and those'll have to go to out-of-state bidders," McBeth said. "We just can't spend $100,000 on a forklift that we might use five or six times a year."
Assembly Bill 32, which Prop. 23 wants to repeal, has no prohibition of his using old forklifts with dirty engines, and the extra cost of fuel for the old forklifts used several times a year or the electricity for the arc welders will be insignificant, especially if he gets more contracts to make power plants more efficient.
Vote no on Prop. 23 and keep AB 32, which was enacted to reduce CO2 emissions and California's dependence on imported fossil fuel.
Bob Maginnis, Eureka