Reviewing the 2008 November California propositions — Prop 10

Basic information about Proposition 10 — “ALTERNATIVE FUEL VEHICLES AND RENEWABLE ENERGY. BONDS. INITIATIVE STATUTE.”

Umbrella yes-vote site.

Umbrella no-vote site.

From one billionaire sponsor of a proposition to another — but T. Boone Pickens works in different realms than Henry Nicholas III, thankfully.

On the face of it it’s almost like I’m getting past propositions reheated up at this point — alternative energy! transportation issues! bonds! So there’s something that feels a bit deadening right about now — maybe I’d feel differently approaching it if I had looked at it first of the twelve, I’m not sure.

A friend of mine put it to me this way, though:

i think that while undoubtedly SOME money will go into t. boone’s pocket, it could be a small price to pay for millions of dollars in research, subsidies for end-users, etc. right now i’m a “yes” voter, but i wish there was a “yes, but…” option.

I’m with that, but from a different angle, namely my current concern about bonds and budget and less the lining of T. Boone’s wallet. As it stands, I see nothing about his general approach that is somehow self-contradictory, as has been alleged — if someone who has grown rich off a resource is thinking, “Hmm, looks like it’s time to diversify for the long term,” then why be surprised if he tries to do so and seeks to swing public opinion his way? Whether or not you like that approach, of course, is another matter.

Ultimately, I’m deciding on this one the same way I’m deciding on 1 — while I’m not entirely thrilled with it all, I do think there is some sort of sense in investing for the future here, and this has more potential and interest to me. Further, there doesn’t seem to be the internecine environmental warfare going on here than with 7, at least on first blush.

A conditional but ultimately hopeful YES.

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2 Responses to “Reviewing the 2008 November California propositions — Prop 10”

  1. Kathryn Says:

    I guess I have to disagree with you on this one. Id rather wait for a bill that only gives money to fund research and purchase of renewable energy techonogy rather than “58% in cash payments of between $2,000 and $50,000 to purchasers of certain high fuel economy and alternative fuel vehicles.”

    I cant afford to buy a new car and this bill isn’t going to help much even if I could. Handing out cash to the few who are able to buy new high fuel economy and alternative fuel cars doesn’t seem like a good way to spend everyone’s scant tax payer money. Alternative fuel and hybrid cars is not an issue that is going to go away and I can wait for a better proposal. I feel like this rich dude is just capitalizing on the initial hype and if this passes now we will have spent all our enthusiasm on a poor law that gets us far less than we want or deserve.

  2. Ned Raggett Says:

    No, that’s a very good way of looking at it — keep in mind that since I’m a non-driver, I tend to look at things through a removed lens when it comes to such a practical point as you raise! I do ultimately think that some sort of framework for deep development needs to be set in place, though — I have this ever-increasing sense that time isn’t really on our side, though I’m not pushing panic buttons yet. For that reason, a half-measure might in this case be better than none — that said, you make a good case for dissent here.


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