Environmental Health California Voter’s Guide

Of all the propositions on the ballot this November, there are two that you should make sure to watch out for if you care about environmental health. Big out-of-state oil, tobacco, and alcohol companies paid big bucks to have Proposition 23 and Proposition 26 added to the California ballot this year.

These two propositions both take aim on important environmental policies already in place, diminishing all the progress these environmental policies have already achieved. If passed, these propositions would take a huge step backwards in environmental protection for California, and make taxpayers start paying for cleaning up polluting corporations’ environmental messes.

As we’ written before, voting NO on Prop 23 is extremely important to ensuring a clean energy future for our state, and the rest of the country. Prop 23 is a direct effort—orchestrated by the oil industry—to crush the California Global Warming Solutions Act that was passed four years ago. This groundbreaking legislation reduces the state’s contribution to climate change, placing the state at the forefront of the clean technology industry, attracting clean energy businesses, and creating millions of new jobs. The landmark California law is replicable legislation that will bring a clean energy future not only to California, but to other states—and entire countries—as well.

But this law threatens dirty petroleum industry profits. So the oil industry created Prop 23 in hopes of stopping the momentum toward a clean energy future in California and beyond.

Big oil, tobacco, and liquor companies claim Prop 26 is about “taxpayer protection”—when in fact it’s the opposite. This proposition is a thinly veiled attempt to make it much more difficult for the state to enforce environmental rules by making polluters pay for their messes.


Out-of-state polluting companies like Chevron, ExxonMobil, Phillip Morris, and others have spent over $2 million to put Prop 26 on the ballot in California, hoping to , force taxpayers to pick up the tab for their dirty operations.  If it passes, Prop 26 would end most fees that now require major polluters to pay for their oil spills, air pollution, and the other harms that mega-corporations do to our communities and environment across the state.

For more information, read our article on the Polluter’s Protection Act.