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Big Oil vs. Big Green: Two Guys and a Microphone

More money is pouring into both sides of Proposition 23 than any other initiative on the November ballot in California. The proposition would suspend a law set to kick in by 2012 which would force everyone (mostly businesses) to lower greenhouse gas emissions in the state to 1990 levels by 2020.

Prop 23 would suspend those mandatory carbon cuts from taking place until unemployment in California drops to 5.5 percent or less and stays there for a year. Unemployment in California is currently 12.4 percent.

According to MAPlight, which tracks funding, a whopping $41 million has been spent either for or against Prop 23. Supporters come mostly from Big Oil and have poured in over $10 million. Opponents come mostly from Big Green—Silicon Valley venture capitalists investing in the green economy--and they've poured in over $30 million.

Big Green is winning. Prop 23 is losing in public opinion polls. But Prop 23's supporters have one not-so-secret weapon: John and Ken.

John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou host the afternoon drive show at LA radio station KFI. I've written about them before, referring to them last year as California's unofficial Governors.

For months, John and Ken have made Prop 23 their top priority, calling it a necessary step to stop a law they say will kill jobs and cost Californians a fortune in higher gas and energy prices. With an estimated one million listeners per week, these two guys usually manage to rally enough votes to get their way. Maybe not this time.

The video has John and Ken explaining why they think this bill is the most important measure on the ballot.

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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