Prop. 23 – Pros and Cons

I lied.  I cannot in good conscience link to any of the “pros” for proposition 23.  There aren’t any, really.  Yes, cap-and-trade systems will tend to raise prices for fossil fuel-based energy.  That’s by design.  But, California’s impending cap-and-trade system (which 23 would repeal) will allow private markets to do so in the least expensive, most cost-effective, least economically disruptive way possible.  It will also spur the growth of new green energy sources.  Together, those two effects will make cleaner energy sources more competitive with fossil fuel, high greenhouse gas emitting sources.  That’s the only way we can transition to an  economy that avoids the worst effects of global warming. 

The alternative is to do nothing, wait for the worst climate impacts to begin, and then try to do the transition all at once.  This would require all the big government that conservatives say they hate: Closing power plants, limiting energy use by fiat, and much, much worse.  If you hate big government, support action on climate change now, not when disaster has already begun.

There’s also the “whose democracy is it?” angle.  .  Yet again, one or two giant companies are abusing this state’s initiative process to obtain what they can’t get through the legislature: Jack up their bottom lines at public expense. This 23 initiative is about the sleaziest proposition I’ve ever seen

Unless you believe that global warming is some kind of left-wing hoax, you should oppose 23.  And, even if you do think so, isn’t the integrity of our state’s initiative process worth defeating 23?

Sorry to be so biased, but this one is just so egregious.

UPDATE:  I forgot to mention that, if 23 passes, it will also repeal a bunch of clean energy standards that were in the global warming law.  They include fuel efficiency standards, building efficiency standards (insulation, etc.), and a requirement that, by 2020, CA utilities get one-third of their power from alternative energy sources like solar or wind.  This has spurred growth in these and other green-tech industries — up to 500,000 jobs so far, if estimates by enviro types ca n be believed– with more to come.  All of that ends if 23 passes.  [Correction:  Oops.  Prop. 23 would leave some of thes standards intact, but it would repeal the ones of greatest interest to the oil industry, such as the 1/3 renewable power standard cited above.]  The two Texas oil companies that ginned up this whole proposition will have invested their millions wisely.

UPDATE II:  If you really oppose prop 23, you should vote NO on prop. 26, too.  Prop 26 would require a 2/3 supermajority in the CA legislature to raise most fees (as opposed to taxes, which already require 2/3 consent).  Polluters will try to use 26, if it passes, to challenge the legality of pollution-related fees that already exist, as well as any future carbon pricing scheme.  According to environmentalists, 26 could unravel the funding basis of CA’s environmental regulations.  The oil companies are quietly pouring money into the Yes on 26 campaign, as a hedge in case the much more visible 23 goes down.

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