Van Jones Comes Out Kicking Against Controversial California Ballot Proposition

Enter another high profile person lending his voice to speak in opposition to Proposition 23 which would overturn California’s 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act. Van Jones, in a September 9 co-written blog post for ThinkProgress, said of the Act that it “sent a clear message to investors and businesses that clean energy will be the future economic engine for California.”

“But Texas oil interests conspired this year to upset the established consensus,” Jones and co-author, Jorge Madrid wrote. “They placed on the November ballot a measure to effectively undo the existing climate legislation.”

Van Jones said spoke to ThinkProgress on September 25 about Proposition 23, and pointed out that Koch Industries “has promoted awful environmental policies.” Just what has the good ole Texas Tea company known as Koch promoted? As Jones put it, “They’ve been literally poisoning rivers, poisoning streams, and making money off of that. They’ve promoted now this awful economic idea that if you grow new industries in California you somehow hurt the economy.” Jones sums up Koch’s environmental track record in two words: “That’s nuts.”

Ah, but Koch goes further than just degrading the environment. Take it from Jones: “And now they’re promoting bad politics by backing, I think, extreme movements in the United States.”

In funding Proposition 23, Koch is promoting more than their environmental policies. Again, let’s defer to what Jones said: “They’re bad in terms of their economic philosophy they’re trying to shove down the throats of California, and they’re bad in their politics in terms of their supporting extreme political ideas in America.”

The Tea Party movement and Prop 23

The Tea Party movement is in full swing now. An Associated Press (AP) article reported that the Sacramento, California-based Tea Party Express will start a national bus tour on October 18 “to rally voters.” The Tea Party Express, according to the AP article, “helped engineer upset election victories in Nevada, Alaska and Delaware this year.”

What does the Tea Party movement have to do with Proposition 23? David Koch, an executive of Koch Industries, according to Climate Progress, organized pro-Proposition 23 Tea party rallies and produced ads in favor of the proposition. Koch Industries also funded the Pacific Research Foundation which created studies to promote Proposition 23.

Jones asks about the November elections, “If you think things are bad now, what will happen when the people are screaming and yelling at these Tea Party events are actually in charge of your government, and in charge of your life, and in charge of your kids’ future?”

California voters will make an important decision in November when they decide whether or not to repeal the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. Hopefully Californians will heed Jones’ warning: “I don’t think you want the Tea Party running your community, running your family, running your government.”


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Gina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by