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Environment & The Ballot: Props 7 & 10

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Green initiatives and measures are going to dot ballots across the state this November and while "it's the thing to do" these days, they may not be the best choices. At the very least, as LAist commenter jrb said, "this election season some the initiatives are not exactly a quick study.

There will be some city initiatives like the San Francisco Clean Energy Act or the Residents’ Initiative to Fight Traffic (RIFT) in Santa Monica. But statewide, there's Proposition 7 and 10, or "Big Solar" and "Big Wind." To get back to basics, here's a little on each:

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Prop 7: Renewable Energy

  • What it says (in brief): "Requires all utilities, including government-owned utilities, to generate 20% of their power from renewable energy by 2010, a standard currently applicable only to private electrical corporations. Raises requirement for all utilities to 40% by 2020 and 50% by 2025"
  • Major Backer: Peter Sperling, out-of-state resident and owner of University of Phoenix. A Yes on Prop 7 website has been launched.
  • Major Opponents: Pacific Gas & Electric, Edison, Sempra, both California Democratic and Republican Parties and the League of Conservation Voters. A No on Prop 7 website has been launched.
  • They Say to Vote No Because: It's too complex, too risky and has significant loopholes. Basically, it has good intentions, but was poorly written.

Prop 10: Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Renewable Energy

  • What it says (in brief): "The initiative authorizes $5 billion in bonds paid from state's 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."
  • Major Backer: Texan T. Boone Pickens' Clean Energy Fuels Corp.
  • Major Opponent: Consumer Federation of California
  • They Say to Vote No Because: The LA Times says it's self-serving to Pickens' very own natural gas agenda. Not only that, many say his company stands a chance to financially benefit from it.