Published: Saturday, Mar. 27, 2010 - 12:00 am
Calling it an "unbelievable job killer," GOP Senate candidate Carly Fiorina on Friday urged the elimination of California's landmark global warming law.
If AB 32 is not scrapped, Fiorina said, she will back an effort to suspend the law until unemployment in the state drops to 5.5 percent and stays there for one year.
"Suspending it is better than keeping it in place," Fiorina said in a meeting with The Bee Capitol Bureau.
Fiorina said the state law and a federal effort to cap greenhouse emissions would cost trillions in lost economic output.
"It's important that we protect our environment," she said. "It's wonderful that California has such a pristine environment." But she added: "A vibrant economy and making progress on our environment have to be co-equal goals."
She said state and federal policies should be aimed at encouraging innovation, not punishment: "Let's motivate and reward innovation."
And she said the science involved in global warming should be subject to more scrutiny.
"I think we should have the courage always to examine the science," she said.
Steve Maviglio, spokesman for Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs, a coalition of industry and environmental groups that supports AB 32, disputed Fiorina's characterization of the law.
"Since Carly Fiorina personally forced tens of thousands of H-P workers to lose their jobs, she knows more about job-killing than most," he said in a statement. "AB 32 is a win-win-win for the economy; it will create tens of thousands of new jobs in the growing clean tech sector, clean up our air, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil."
Fiorina, the former head of Hewlett-Packard, is one of three Republican candidates – along with former Rep. Tom Campbell and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore – seeking the party's senatorial nomination in June.
The winner of the GOP primary will likely face Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, who's seeking a fourth term, in November.
In a wide-ranging interview, Fiorina:
• Said any chief executive officer who comes to Washington to seek federal bailout money should resign immediately, along with the company's board of directors.
"They have failed in their most fundamental fiduciary duty, which is to protect the franchise," she said.
• Called for a go-slow approach on immigration.
She said Congress should take greater steps to protect U.S. borders and make changes to the temporary guest worker program before considering a larger overhaul.
• Said she will oppose the funding of earmarks, or special projects that usually benefit only one congressional district or state.
She said Congress needs to operate with greater transparency and that the earmark process is essentially a way of hiding appropriations in larger spending bills.
• Said she is not endorsing a candidate in California's GOP gubernatorial primary and that she lacks the resources to self-fund her own campaign.
"I'm not Meg Whitman, so we have to raise the money," she said.
• Said Boxer won her previous elections in better economic times and will be more vulnerable this year, when jobs are the biggest issue for the electorate.