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Politics and Issues

Vote No on Proposition 10

The wrong road toward cleaner vehicles
October 2008

By Jim Metropulos, Senior Advocate, Sierra Club California

Sierra Club opposes Proposition 10, The California Renewable Energy and Clean Alternative Fuel Act, because it would put California on the wrong road to cleaner vehicles.

Proposition 10 would provide $5 billion in general obligation bonds for four main purposes:

1. alternative fuel vehicles rebates and research ($3.425 billion),

2. renewable energy ($1.25 billion),

3. renewable energy demonstration ($200 million), and

4. "clean tech" education and training ($125 million). The primary funder of the initiative is Clean Energy Fuels Corp., which, according to its website, is the largest provider of natural gas for transportation in North America and also builds and operates natural gas fueling stations.

Prop. 10's backer would benefit financially from its passage, because the main thrust of the measure is to provide close to $3 billion dollars in bond funds to be distributed as rebates to buyers of "clean alternative fuel vehicles."

The measure has several drawbacks. First, the initiative sets a low bar for "clean alternative vehicles," which it says must produce "no net material increase in air pollution" relative to gasoline or diesel. Vehicles that meet this standard would do little, if anything, to reduce air pollution or greenhouse gas emissions.

Second, the State already provides significant incentives for natural gas and alternative-fuel vehicles, including a $200 million clean fuels program paid for by fees.

Third, we question the use of bond funds for rebates. Traditionally, bond funds pay for large public works projects that would normally be too expensive for the state to afford. Proposition 10 doesn't set up a system to pay back the state's big borrowing; instead it relies on future state tax collections.

Fourth, we worry that Proposition 10 could lead to the creation of environmentally-harmful dams, as it includes all classes of hydroelectric power as renewable energy. This conflicts with existing state law that generally limits the "renewable" designation to smaller hydroelectric installations and to facilities that don't impound additional water. Defining dams as "renewable" could also create confusion in utilities' attempts to comply with the California Renewable Portfolio Standard law.

Prop. 10's promise of more clean alternative vehicles sounds good on its surface. However, the initiative would accomplish little to facilitate real, sound alternative energy or technologies, and its reliance on long-term borrowing for short-term benefits and potentially obsolete technology would put us on the wrong road.

Joining Sierra Club in opposing Proposition 10 are the League of Women Voters, California Nurses Association, California Federation of Teachers, Consumer Federation of California, Consumer Watchdog, the Utility Reform Network, and California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.




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2014

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2014 endorsements, September 2014


2012

Current
June 5 Election Endorsements
April 2012


2011 legislative session mixed
December 2011


November 2011 candidate endorsement
October 2011


Club continues its State legislative advocacy
August 2011


2010

November 2010 General Election ballot propositions
October 2010


November 2010 General Election candidate endorsements
October 2010


Proposition 23 on November ballot would suspend our clean energy law
August 2010


Our State Parks are in peril
August 2010


Club working for passage of environmental bills in State Legislature

Help the environment by lobbying in Sacramento

Ballot Propositions June 2010

June Primary 2010 candidate endorsements

2009

Vote NO on Measure I Preserve Mission Trail Park
October 2009


Measure G would give home rule to Carmel Valley
October 2009


Re-elect Judi Lehman
October 2009


Mark Stone appointed to Coastal Commission
October 2009


Lobby Day in Sacramento was fantastic!
October 2009



2008

Hazardous chemicals to be kept out of toys
December 2008


Sierra Club report card rates State legislators
December 2008


November 2008 ballot measures

November 2008 candidate endorsements

Vote NO on Measure Z
October 2008


Sierra Club supports Prop 1A
October 2008


Prop 2 would reduce Pollution from chicken factories
October 2008


Vote NO on Prop 4
October 2008


Vote NO on Prop 7
October 2008


Vote NO on Prop 10
October 2008


Lobby Day 2008

Priority Bills for 2008

June 3rd 2008 ballot measures

Lobby Day 2008


Vote YES on Prop 93
January 2008


Keep the Green Team in Sacramento
December 2007


2007 legislative session achieves progress
December 2007


Sierra Club opposes electoral initiative
December 2007


Yes on Prop 93
December 2007



2007

Measure C bad for kit fox

If Measure C passes, get ready for gridlock and water scarcity
April 2007


Monterey Co. Measures A & C
April 2007


2005

Drinkard not confirmed to Board of Forestry; Governor substitutes unqualified candidate

Sam Farr gets Congress to recycle

Governor’s performance on the environment mixed