SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- It's a clash of big-money titans: Hollywood vs. Big Oil.
Academy Award-winning director James Cameron – whose movies have featured Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger – on Friday pledged $1 million to oppose Proposition 23, a measure that would suspend the state's landmark climate change law.
Cameron joins environmental groups, green tech advocates and financiers who already had lined up with Schwarzenegger in opposing the measure. The director's contribution signals the governor's growing role in protecting the greenhouse gas reduction law, a significant part of his policy legacy.
Schwarzenegger, who signed the climate change law in 2006 and has referred to Proposition 23 backers as "greedy Texas oil companies," starred in several Cameron productions, including the "Terminator" films and "True Lies."
The 56-year-old Cameron won an Oscar for "Titanic." His most recent film, "Avatar," offered a pro-environment message.
"Mr. Cameron is not only a filmmaker with a conscience, whose environmentally themed Avatar rocked the world box office, but he is willing to put his money where his mouth is when it comes to this important fight for California jobs and our clean energy future," said Steve Maviglio, spokesman for the No on 23 committee.
Proposition 23 aims to suspend California's greenhouse gas reduction law, AB 32, until the statewide unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent for four consecutive quarters. AB 32 aims to reduce carbon emissions statewide to 1990 levels by the year 2020.
Cameron's contribution comes as Proposition 23's supporters are losing the fundraising race and its key supporters – Tesoro Corp. and Valero Energy Corp. of Texas – are facing a heavy barrage of criticism from shareholder activists, California politicians and other groups.
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