San Francisco Chronicle: Barbara Boxer backs green jobs at Solazyme

With her U.S. Senate race stuck in a dead heat, Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer tried to appeal to swing voters Tuesday by asserting that she will be a better protector of the environment – and green jobs – than her GOP opponent Carly Fiorina.

Boxer appeared briefly in South San Francisco Tuesday at Solazyme, a 100-employee company that is pioneering a technology that extracts oil from algae. There she stressed her opposition to Proposition 23, a measure on the November ballot that would badly damage AB32, the state’s landmark climate-change law.

AB32 requires that carbon emissions be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020. Prop. 23 would suspend the law until unemployment drops to 5.5 percent or lower for four consecutive quarters. The unemployment rate has achieved that mark only three times in the past 34 years.

“There’s no debate as to who wants to overturn this law,” Boxer said, referring to the primary bankrollers of Prop. 23 and Fiorina. “It’s big Texas oil. It’s big coal.” Two Texas oil companies – Valero Energy Corp. (more than $4 million) and Tesoro Corp. ($1.5 million) – have provided much of the funding for the initiative.

Fiorina describes AB32 as “a job killer” and supports Prop. 23, even though she calls it “a Band-Aid fix and an imperfect solution to addressing our nation’s climate and energy challenges.” The long-term solution, she said, “lies not with a single state taking action on its own but rather with global action.”

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