No other state in the union has embraced both environmental regulation and direct voter democracy to the same degree that California has with its proposition system and there is another big issue coming to the ballot this November. Proposition 23, if it passes, would suspend California's greenhouse reduction rules indefinitely. California's Assembly Bill 32 requires the state's carbon emissions to be slashed to 1990 levels by 2020, imposing a huge economic cost on some individuals and businesses while at the same time creating a wide range of opportunities for new businesses.

A number of startups have sprung up to help other businesses monitor and reduce their emissions along with development of both wind and solar power generation projects. However, oil companies are not happy about the prospect of cutting CO2 emissions and Texas-based firms Valero Energy and Tesoro are backing Proposition 23, which some refer to as the California Jobs Initiative, while opponents call it the Dirty Energy Proposition, according to BallotPedia. Of course, the Proposition would not be enforced until California unemployment drops below 5.5 percent for four consecutive quarters. Given that the current California unemployment rate is at 12 percent, that could take quite some time, and you'd think that would take some wind out of the oil companies' sails.

The vast majority of ballot propositions fail to pass; those that do are typically backed by expensive campaigns from some supporter with a vested interest in the outcome. This is what we have here, but even big-money backing is no guarantee of the result. Current polls say that anywhere between 48 and 67 percent of Californians support Assembly Bill 32.

[Source: Green Car Reports]