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Bill Gates puts $700,000 against effort to suspend California’s climate rules

Bill Gates contributed $700,000 to the “No on 23” campaign, giving a critical boost to the effort to fight a ballot proposition that would suspend California’s rules to curb greenhouse gas emissions until state unemployment levels fall.

Data from, a site that is tracking election money flows, shows that nearly $30 million has been contributed to the opposition of Prop. 23, while just over $9 million has been spent in favor of suspending some pollution and air quality reporting rules until California’s unemployment rates drops to 5.5 percent for four consecutive quarters.

The donation from Gates comes after several other tech leaders—including Intel co-founder Gordon Moore and Google Inc. co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, made contributions.

Gates, who co-founded Microsoft in 1975 and has been a vocal supporter of efforts to combat climate change, is worth an estimated $54 billion according to Forbes magazine.

California’s election day is Nov. 2, 2010.

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