Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Politics: Important Day for Clean Energy


Tuesday is election day in California and there is a big vote in Washington as well. Both results will have ramifications on whether we transition to clean energy or stay stuck in our oil-drenched present.

Golden State residents will be heading to the polls to vote yes or no on Proposition 16 -- an amendment to the California Constitution that would require local governments to obtain a 2/3 majority vote approval before providing electricity service to new customers or establish a community choice electricity program using public funds or bonds.

As the website Local Clean Energy Alliance states: "In other words, Prop 16 seeks to write Pacific Gas & Electric's (PG&E) monopoly into law."

Prop 16 sets a dangerous precedent and will put California on the path to making the same corrupt monopolistic mistakes we made a century ago when big utility companies favored fossil fuels over clean and personal renewable energy electricity generators in every home, which was advocated by no less a genius than Thomas Edison.

This is nothing but a power grab by PG&E. Again, the website Local Clean Energy Alliance explains what is behind this power grab:

"PG&E currently gets only about 14% of its electricity from renewable energy and will fail to reach the state mandated minimum of 20% by this year. Instead, PG&E is investing mostly in dirty fossil-fuel plants that are powered by natural gas, and which emit large amounts of greenhouse gases. The PG&E power grab is meant to lock us into PG&E‟s dirty power and escalating rates."

In Washington there is what could potentially be an even more devastating vote as U.S. Senator Lisa "Big Oil" Murkowski attempts to effectively strip the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

The Senate will vote Tuesday on Murkowski's "Dirty Air Act" -- a bailout for her fossil fuel industry friends. The organization Earth Justice says this about Murkowski's pollution-loving scheme:

"Even as the nation's worst man-made environmental disaster is ravishing the entire Gulf of Mexico and the livelihoods of tens of thousands of Americans, Sen. Murkowski still wants to shield the dirtiest and most dangerous polluters from accountability. In the midst of the worst oil spill in U.S. history, the U.S. Senate should be listening to the voices of the American people who are asking for more accountability—not less."

I urge you to vote no on Prop 16 and call your Senators and tell them to vote no on Sen. Murkowski's outrageous resolution.

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