One of the most hotly-contested items on this year’s ballot, one that we all need to pay attention to is Proposition 23. Masquerading as a "jobs initiative," this measure would effectively repeal California’s clean energy and clean air standards.

Four years ago, California put into place the nation’s first policies to spur the development of clean energy and reduce greenhouse gases. These policies have been the catalyst for the creation of more than 500,000 jobs, 12,000 businesses, and for attracting more than $10 billion in venture capital — five times more than any other state.

They’ve helped California quickly become the leader in solar energy development, and, according to the Wall Street Journal, home to seven of the top 10 clean tech companies in the U.S. and home to three of the five best cities for clean tech job creation.

Prop 23 would pull the rug out from this explosive growth — and our effort to reduce our addiction to fossil fuels.

Prop 23 was put on the ballot by two Texas-based oil companies, Valero and Tesoro, two of the top 10 polluters in the state, according to the California Air Resources Board. These Texas oil companies are taking advantage of California’s initiative process and manipulating voter fears about the economy to avoid retooling to reducing their air pollution. The New York Times recently reported $7.9 million out of $8.2 million raised for the Prop. 23 campaign is from fossil fuel interests, almost all of them from outside of California.

Their campaign is rooted in arguments that fly in the face of logic and common sense. They entirely avoid addressing the fact that California clean energy laws encourage investment in more energy efficient buildings, which creates jobs in the construction sector. They also fail to mention these same laws provide the necessary incentives for increased renewable energy, which leads to additional jobs to develop solar, wind, and other renewable energy projects. Nor do they mention that clean tech job creation in the state outpaces the statewide average by a factor of 10, according to the Employment Development Department’s 2010 report.

Just as Silicon Valley’s technology boom catapulted the state of California to one of the world’s largest economies, clean energy technology is becoming our state’s next big industry. Thanks to our clean energy standards, the stable investment climate here attracts billions in funding per year and assists in making clean tech jobs the fastest growing sector of the California economy. As a U.S. Green Building Council LEED certified architect, I hold one of the those jobs. I understand firsthand the necessity of clean energy laws for creating stable and predictable markets.

Prop 23 is opposed by a broad and diverse coalition. It includes both Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Barbara Boxer, as well as Gov. Schwarzenegger. So does the San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and nearly all of the state’s major newspapers.

They believe, as I do, the Prop 23 will harm our state’s economy. It will also be a setback for national efforts to develop renewable energy and address climate change, resulting in more air pollution and higher energy costs for businesses and our families.

Lets not let big oil insult our intelligence and get in the way of our "clean energy" future. Please join me and vote No on Prop 23.