Eva Knott 4:04 a.m., May 23
Prop 39 is enjoying an almost unfunded opposition this election claiming they are "closing a corporate tax loophole" and "creating green energy jobs". But the scary truth is that Prop 39 is a GIANT power grab by energy companies like SDG&E and PG&E.
Just look at the language of the Proposition and you can see the problem. Here is the language copied from the voter guide:
Chapter 4. D Definitions 26220. The following definitions apply to this division: (a) “Clean energy” means a device or technology that meets the definition of “renewable energy” in Section 26003, or that contributes to improved energy management or efficiency.
"Renewable energy" is great right? yeah it is but how about the SECOND part "or that contributes to improved energy management or efficiency." Thus NONE of the money has to be used for renewables at all. They use the word "OR" not the word "AND". That is KEY.
What exactly "contributes to improved energy management or efficiency" Perhaps a better question is what does NOT contribute to improved energy management or efficiency?
What if under this Proposition this committee gave money to Sunrise Powerlink...why wouldn't that qualify? A project like Sunrise Powerlink would absolutely be legal undr this language.
Ok, what if you gave 100 million dollars to Haliburton to build Natural Gas lines promoting fracking in California? Why would that NOT qualify under this language? The language is so vague it allows a multitude of dangerous environmental possibilities.
Why couldn't the money go to nuclear? (Steyer is a HUGE proponent of nuclear). You might say "no way nuclear is catastrophic it would never fly under this." Really? Why not? Isn't nuclear extremely energy efficient? What about dirty coal? Anything stopping the money from subsidizing dirty coal?
Well the part about "renewable energy" you say...ok but that is one part the energy efficient system clause does NOT have to be renewable or clean energy because of the word "OR".
Voting on a Proposition is like signing a contract. The problem is always in the fine print. And there is some serious fine print here that could be absolutely catastrophic to California's environment. It also cedes enormous power to an unelected commission to allocate the billion dollars a year to energy companies like SDGE and PG&E and to companies like Haliburton who build the infrastructure. Take a HARD look at this CA!! This is a very serious situation!