Sierra Club California stands firmly behind the idea that clean, renewable energy and alternative vehicles can create jobs and help our economy while fighting the pollution that causes global warming.
That's why we only very reluctantly opposed Propositions 7 and 10.
Proposition 7 contains loopholes for compliance and lacks a steady source of funding for renewable power development. Instead of creating a funding stream that clean-power generators could tap into, the measure creates an uncertain system of penalties that may or may not provide enough money to fund new renewable sources of energy. The proposition even lowers some current penalties for non-compliance. Proposition 7 also sets a dangerous precedent by removing local control over energy policy. Sierra Club’s energy experts know there’s a lot of potential in “community choice,” a practice that consolidates a community’s energy-purchasing power in the same way co-op grocers have more power to buy produce because they work together.
Along similar lines, Proposition 10 also provides no good alternative. Although its supporters claim the proposition promotes energy independence and clean air, the measure would offer taxpayer money in the form of rebates to consumers who purchase vehicles that create “no net material increase in air pollution.” That sets the bar too low to reduce the pollution that causes global warming and that affects the health of Californians living near freeways and high-traffic areas. Taxpayers would subsidize the purchase of these vehicles via expensive borrowing, since Proposition 10 doesn’t offer a way to pay back the general fund for these rebates. Instead, it relies on future state tax collection to pay back these bonds. Sierra Club questions the use of state-issued bond funds for rebates to the purchasers of cars that would do little to combat global warming.
Go to our elections page to learn more about the propositions
photo courtesy Department of Water Resources