LOS ANGELES (October 16, 2008) – A coalition of California’s leading conservation groups urged voters to cast “no” votes against Propositions 7 and 10 on this November’s ballot. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV), Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and The Sierra Club, which for decades have led the fight to bring clean energy to California, warned that the renewable energy measures were fatally flawed and, if passed, would harm the state’s efforts to create a clean energy economy.
“In a state where clean energy is as American as apple pie, we’re worried that voters could be confused by these misleading renewable energy measures,” said David Pettit, director of NRDC’s Southern California Clean Air Program. “Props 7 and 10 sound good on paper, but they actually would make it harder to bring new wind and solar energy and clean vehicle technologies to California. We can’t afford to turn the clock back on clean energy.”
Proposition 7, which requires California to increase development of renewable energy, is riddled with loopholes and would put in place complex regulatory barriers, making it harder for California to meet its renewable energy goals. The measure excludes small renewable energy providers from participating in California’s energy markets, slashes penalties by 80 percent for utilities that fail to achieve the state’s renewable energy targets, and would limit environmental review of renewable energy projects, according to the groups.
“Voters beware. This is definitely a case where the devil is in the details,” said Dan Kalb, UCS California Policy Director. “The risk of global warming is too great to play around with poorly-drafted initiatives. That’s why it’s so important to get the solutions right. The loophole-ridden Prop 7 gets the solutions wrong, and worse yet it would lock in these problems because it would require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to fix or amend the measure.”
Proposition 10 would require $5 billion in public bond money to force creation of a market for natural gas as fuel for vehicles. Burning natural gas directly in cars and trucks is an inefficient way to use natural gas as a transportation fuel, according to the groups. A more efficient use for natural gas is to burn it to produce electricity that can then be used to charge plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. This fuel pathway is 40 percent more efficient.
“Proposition 10 promises little bang for five billion bucks,” said Jim Metropulos, Sierra Club California’s Senior Advocate. “California cannot afford to waste money and time on technologies that won’t address global warming or promote clean air. We want to see much cleaner alternatives to the cars and trucks we’re driving now.”
“The pro-renewable energy vote is ‘No on 7 and 10,’” said Anthony Rendon, interim executive director, CLCV. “California’s leading conservation groups are united in opposition to these bogus ballot measures.”
More information about how Props 7 and 10 would harm renewable energy development in California is available here