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California Rejects Green Pork

Posted in California,Renewables by Cheryl Morgan on the November 5th, 2008

Californians are a lot more cautious about energy measures these days. While they are still very much pro-environment (an animal welfare measure and various rail funding proposals passed), they will no longer pass an energy measure just because it says that it is green. Two propositions on yesterday’s ballot, numbered 7 and 10, were both defeated by sizable margins.

The two propositions managed to showcase some of the worst aspects of energy planning. Proposition 7 was a classic example of California’s passion for trying to micro-manage the state through ballot box legislation. The measure was so complicated, and poorly written, that it managed to draw opposition from a coalition comprising the Republicans, the Democrats, all of the major utility companies, the Public Utilities Commission, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists and, well, just about everyone except those voters taken in by the “it is green so it must be good” ads of the measure’s backers.

Proposition 10 was part of T. Boone Pickens‘ campaign to boost renewables. The voters saw it as simply an excuse to give millions of dollars in subsidies to Pickens’ company, Clean Energy Fuels, which provided most of the campaign finance for the measure. San Francisco city also rejected a renewable energy-related measure.

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