California Ballot Propositions
Proposition 7: THE SOLAR AND CLEAN ENERGY ACT OF 2008Utilities must generate 50% of their power from renewables by 2025The California Energy Commission will be required to identify solar and clean energy zones, primarily in the desert, to jump-start clean power plants. Renewable plant construction permits would be fast-tracked for approval by the California Energy Commission once all environmental reviews are in place. Fast-tracking would limit the period for local comments and participation to 100 days. Penalties levied on utilities for specific acts of non-compliance would be reduced from 5% to 1%, but the total cap on fines that can be imposed on a utility would be eliminated. Utilities will be prohibited from passing along penalties to their electric rate-payers. The California Energy Commission (CEC) will have the authority and responsibility to allocate funds from these penalties into the construction and implementation of new and existing transmission lines to provide access for renewable energy to the grid. Caps price impacts on consumer's electricity bills at less than 3 percent. Renewable energy sources include solar thermal, photovoltaic, wind, geothermal, small hydro, biomass, and tidal, etc., as provided for in current law Public Resources Code section 25741. Utilities entering into contracts with alternative fuel providers will be required to sign 20-year contracts.
Some excerptsThe Solar and Clean Energy Act encourages new technology to produceelectricity. Many people are familiar with the solar power that comes frompanels that can be placed on rooftops, but there is dramatic new technologythat allows solar energy to be generated from concentrations of solar mirrorsin the desert. These mirrors are so efficient that a large square array, elevenmiles on a side, may be able to generate enough electricity to meet all ofCalifornias needs and at a lower cost than we are paying today. The desertcould lead us to energy independence.
Solar and clean energy plant means any electrical generating facility using wind, solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, biomass, biogas, geothermal, fuel cells using renewable fuels, digester gas, municipal solid waste conversion, landfill gas, ocean wave, ocean thermal, or tidal current technologies, with a generating capacity of 30 megawatts or more, or small hydroelectric generation of 30 megawatts or less, and any facilities appurtenant thereto. Exploratory, development, and production wells, resource transmission lines, and other related facilities used in connection with a renewable project or a renewable development project are not appurtenant facilities for the purposes of this division.
Arguments for Prop 7Three Nobel prize winning scientists have said that Proposition 7 provides powerful and necessary tools to reach the goals of 50% renewable energy by 2025. It Would make California the world leader in clean power technology. It Would help create over 370,000 new high wage jobs. It Meets environmental protection standards as outlined in the Warren-Alquist Act and Desert Protection Act. Provides for review local government. Will have no negative impact on small-scale renewables and will likely benefit small-scale renewables Does not limit projects to those over 30 megawatts Provides a "feed-in tariff" for any size project, under which utilities must buy power offered by renewable energy companies that is cost-effective Strengthens penalties for utility non-compliance by eliminating the current cap on penalties imposed by the Public Utilities Commission
Supporters: Dr. Donald Aitken; David Freeman - energy policy advisor to Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson; The Community Environmental Council of Santa Barbara; Alice Wang (Vice-chair of the California Democratic Party); Christine Pelosi, former Executive Director of the Democratic Party; Dolores Huerta co-founder of the United Farm Workers Union
Arguments against Prop 7The measure is poorly written and so complicated that it could hurt the cause of renewable energy in the stateIt will force small wind and solar companies out of the market because it excludes small renewable plants smaller than 30mw from counting towards new requirements. It will guarantees that electricity consumers will pay 10% above market rates for renewable power forever, even when the costs of solar and wind sources become more competitive. It requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to change it."It would automatically lead us to litigation.
Opponents:The California Democratic Party; The California Republican Party; The California Green Party; The California Peace & Freedom Party ; The California Labor Federation; The California Taxpayers' Association; The League of California Cities; The California Solar Energy Industries Association; The Sierra Club of California; The California League of Conservation Voters; The Natural Resources Defense Council; The Union of Concerned Scientists
Prop 10: THE CALIFORNIA RENEWABLE ENERGY AND CLEAN ALTERNATIVE FUEL ACTThe initiative authorizes $5 billion in bonds paid from states General Fund, allocated approximately as follows: 58% in cash payments of between $2,000 and $50,000 to purchasers of certain high fuel economy and alternative fuel vehicles; 20% in incentives for research, development and production of renewable energy technology; 11% in incentives for research and development of alternative fuel vehicle technology; 5% in incentives for purchase of renewable energy technology; 4% in grants to eight cities for education about these technologies; and 3% in grants to colleges to train students in these technologies.
Some excerptsCalifornias excessive dependence on petroleum products threatens ourhealth, our environment, our economy and our national security.
A comprehensive alternative energy strategy must be implemented.This strategy should concentrate on three areas: renewable electricitygeneration, clean alternative fuels for transportation, and energy efficiency and conservation
A variety of clean domestic fuels are available to power automobiles,including natural gas, cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel and hydrogen.
Provide rebates for individuals and businesses to purchase cleanalternative energy vehicles, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid and natural-gas powered vehicles. Funds will also be provided for testing and certification ofalternative fuel vehicles and research and development of low-carbon fuels.
Clean alternative fuel means natural gas and any fuel that achieves areduction of at least 10 percent carbon intensity as contained in GovernorSchwarzeneggers Executive Order S-01-07.
Arguments for Prop 10The funding it provides will allow the generation of electricity from renewable sources, and provide consumer rebates for the purchase or lease of "clean alternative fuel vehicles". The funding will allow the replacement of "older polluting diesel trucks with clean alternative fuel trucks" and provide for research into alternative fuels. The programs funded by Prop. 10 will help reduce dependence on foreign fuel produced by "hostile foreign governments." The diesel trucks that could be replaced produce dangerous pollution. Alternatives to high-priced gasoline are important
Supporters: Allison Hart, Mitzi Dudley and Thomas Daly, Clean Energy Fuels Corp (T. Boone Pickens), Chesapeake Energy, Aubrey McClendon, Westport Fuel Systems
Arguments against Prop 10The proposition is a "laundry list of cash grabs -- from $200 million for a liquefied natural gas terminal to $2.5 billion for rebates of up to $50,000 for each natural gas vehicle" that would squander at least $9.8 billion in taxpayer money on Pickens' self-serving natural gas agenda."Taking $10 billion out of the state's general fund over a 30 year period to underwrite the cost for individuals and businesses to purchase low-emission vehicles "is not a smart use of money" considering the state is "already sagging with debt".Michael Shames of San Diego's Utilities Consumers' Action Network, says that a shift to natural gas is "problematic in a lot of ways" including that "few mechanics know how to fix natural-gas engines and few filling stations offer natural gas." The proposition was initiated by one person/interest group and as such lacks the vetting that would have come had it gained input from a wider variety of sources. Shames says, "A well-intentioned individual with an excessive amount of money doesn't necessarily have the capacity to present a comprehensive policy initiative on a complex topic." Union of Concerned Scientists has composed a laundry list of reasons
Opponents: California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV); Union of Concerned Scientist; Sierra Club; California League of Women Voters; California Labor Federation; Consumer Federation of California
Based on the standards in Section 26422, the funds in the Demonstration Projects and Public Education Account shall be administered and expended by the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission for grants in the following amounts to the following local governments for the purpose of capital projects and operating expensespromoting and demonstrating the actual use of alternative and renewable energy in park, recreation, and cultural venues, including the education of students, residents, and the visiting public about these technologies and practices.(a) The sum of twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000) shall be availableto the City of Los Angeles.(b) The sum of twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000) shall be availableto the City of San Diego.(c) The sum of twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000) shall be availableto the City of Long Beach.(d) The sum of twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000) shall be availa