Thursday, October 23, 2008

CARB Chair Mary Nichols Urges “No” Vote On Prop. 10

Joining Sierra Club California in opposing Prop. 10, California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols wrote a letter opposing the misguided initiative.

Her letter agrees with our assertion that subsidies for natural gas vehicles won’t do enough to reduce global warming pollution:
“While Proposition 10 appears to be a measure to improve our air and protect the global environment, its public subsidies are heavily skewed toward building
markets for an energy source that could increase global warming emissions.

“Under Proposition 10, natural gas cars and trucks would be exempt from air pollution and greenhouse gas reduction requirements, placing them first in line for billions of dollars in taxpayer-financed rebates. ecause U.S. natural gas reserves are declining and natural gas will soon be imported from Asia in liquid form, Proposition 10 is likely to result in higher carbon and smog-forming emissions than other domestic fuel trategies now being developed by researchers and industry engineers, such as cellulosic ethanol, hydrogen fuel cells and renewable electricity.

“It gets worse. Proposition 10 provides no assurance that taxpayer-subsidized vehicles will remain in California. The measure requires us to finance rebates of up to $50,000 per vehicle with no safeguard that any vehicle or accrued benefit will remain in California. The proposition requires the rebates to be processed in a few days with minimal government oversight. That is no deal for California taxpayers who will be paying off this measure’s $10 billion dollars in added debt over the next 30 years.

“Unlike many other vehicle incentive programs already in effect throughout the State, Proposition 10 does not require that older, higher polluting vehicles be retired or replaced in exchange for rebates. That is an obvious and serious flaw, further indicating to me that Proposition 10’s real motive is not reducing air pollution or greenhouse gas emissions, but building markets for natural gas vehicles.”

Read Sierra Club California’s article opposing Prop. 10.

Visit the No on Proposition 10 website.


Kim said...

Sierra Club CA has looked deeply into Props. 7 and 10 and accurately depicted their fatal flaws. Then why not Prop. 1A? In fact, Sierra Cluf CA actually SUPPORTS this bill -- contrary to the local chapter and members in Merced County. This high-speed rail is totally politically motivated by San Jose businessmen -- did they buy you out? That train will blast through the largest fresh water wetland/ wildlife complex in CA -- and Sierra Club ENDORSES that? Though they say that there will not be a stop in the western Merced County area, developers are buying up the land, speculating on a future stop -- which would cause explosive growth in this sensitive rural area, a mere 20-minute bullet-train ride from San Jose. The existing urban areas would be much better-served by the Altamont route -- which is aready a very developed transportation corridor. Did you even bother reading the comment letters from the conservation agencies and groups? Shame on you, Sierra Club CA, for playing politics at high levels and not supporting -- or even ASKING -- the views of conservation agencies/groups and your local members like me.

Anonymous said...

Having read Proposition 7, I must have missed the spots where it 'is poorly written and deeply flawed'. I understood it poorly written because it isnt in legalese?? Whats flawed about the reqwuirements? No on Edison timeline? And how are small producers hurt?? Or 139K jobs lost? Are you taking hyperbole lessons from the current Federal administration?

Sierra Club California said...

Kim, you've packed a lot of falsehoods into one comment. First of all, our positions are all the result of the views of local members. We support ballot measures only after a 2/3 vote of both the Regional Conservation Comm. and Executive Comm., all of whose members are Sierra Club volunteers drawn from the chapters. The allegation that we're playing politics is nonsensical and the smear about being bought by San Jose businessmen is completely unfounded and the kind of thing one might expect from a Rush Limbaugh.

As for the wetlands and the station locations: Prop 1A prohibits the construction of a Los Banos station, and requires minimizing suburban sprawl.

Notably, the HSR authority is committed to purchasing easements on 10,000 acres of buffer lands around the grasslands ecological area, and to protecting wildlife corridors and limiting noise, light pollution and other impacts on the grasslands area.

The high speed rail system funded by Prop 1A would serve every major metro area in California. It would give a downtown focus to long distance travel, and thereby give a significant boost to the city centers, not just in all of the major metro areas, but in each of the Valley towns it served too. It would provide California its first serious alternative to highway and airport expansion to address long distance travel demand. That is no small accomplishment.

As for Prop. 7, you can read our entire analysis at