Sunday, October 26, 2008

Politics: No on Prop 10

Prop 10 calls for $5 billion in bonds for renewable energy and alternative fuel cars.

Of the 5 California newspapers I checked (SF Chron, LA Times, SJ Mercury, SD Union-Trib and Sac Bee), they all came against this ballot measure.

The Mercury News summed up their concern this way:

Proposition 10 proposes to pay off bonds using the state's general fund - $10 billion over 30 years - primarily to underwrite the cost for individuals and businesses to buy low-emission trucks and cars. That's not a smart use of taxpayer money when the state's already sagging with debt and short of money to build schools, roads, transit systems and water projects. One-quarter of the bonds would go toward research, development and construction of solar, wind and other alternative sources of electricity. But $2.9 billion of the $5 billion in spending - 58 percent - would be in rebates to owners of low-carbon emission vehicles, mainly those fueled by natural gas. Natural gas is at best a transitional fuel to run vehicles. Taxpayers would be paying the interest on bonds long after the cars that got rebates ended up in junkyards. The rebates would include $2,000 for high mileage cars, like the Prius, even though buyers already are lining up to buy them.

With the Cal budget a mess and showing no signs of getting organized in the near future, floating more bond debt is something I'm reluctant to support.

As in prop 7, the move towards alternative energy is going to happen but the question is how much should the government push it with subsidies and to what degree free market forces be allowed to work.

On this latter concern, I'm somewhat libertarian: when the technology is more mature it will become more affordable.

Thus, I'm voting no on prop 10.

1 comment:

cyc4fave said...

Prop. 10 is definitely not good for the environment, especially if it is opposed by the Sierra Club, Ca. League of Conservation Voters, Union of Concerned Scientists. Even the little girl in their original add is against it. The Sac Bee reported today that: "In the pantheon of egregious ballot initiatives, Proposition 10 is the worst of the worst.
In one fell swoop, this deceptively named "Renewable Energy and Clean Alternative Fuel Act" would worsen the state's budget crisis, undermine its fight against global warming and enrich a Texas billionaire – T. Boone Pickens."
Check out www.stopprop10.org