California's global warming law AB32 is a big part of Schwarzenegger's legacy. He is campaigning to stop Proposition 23, the November ballot measure that would suspend AB32.
The governor told the Commonwealth Club audience that oil companies Valero and Tesoro are spending millions to promote Prop 23 with a bogus jobs argument.
"Does anyone really believe that these companies out of the goodness of their black oil hearts are spending millions and millions of dollars to protect jobs?" Schwarzenegger asked.
The governor says California's global warming laws are creating the economy of the future.
"Billions of dollars in green venture capital has come to our state; the bottom line is we are creating action here in this state," he said.
Asked about Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman's recent decision to oppose Prop 23, the governor chided Whitman for not doing more.
"I want her to spend money spend her millions of dollars against Prop 23, that's real action," Schwarzenegger said.
While Whitman opposes the measure to suspend AB32, she has said she would like to put off implementation for a year until the economy improves, particularly for trucking companies that are facing higher costs.
The president of RoadStar Trucking in Hayward says the higher fuel costs coupled with truck retrofits are too much.
"My fuel bill will go up 30 percent, that's going to put small business out of business in California," Bob Ramorino said. "We simply don't have the money."
Ramorino echoed Whitman's argument that businesses will be forced out of California.
A San Francisco-based, non-partisan public policy think tank updated its 2010 report on the economy by saying, annually, 11,000 jobs leave California on average -- six-one hundredths of 1 percent of the state's jobs. The job growth rate, considered a better indicator of the state's economy, in California is pretty nearly flat. It is lagging behind the rest of the country and the state's unemployment rate is higher than the country as a whole. The growth in green jobs the governor referred to has not changed those numbers.