« Back to Home Page

Ultimate Bait and Switch? Prop 26 Backers Quietly Hiding Behind Public Outcry on Prop 23

Scott Cooney | Tuesday October 26th, 2010 | 2 Comments

What do Philip Morris, Chevron, Anheuser-Busch, and ConocoPhillips have in common? They’re all enjoying the darkened recess in which their anti-taxpayer, anti-public health, anti-environmental Proposition 26 is hiding while Prop 23 steals the spotlight (and most of the good guys’ contributions) in the battle over clean tech in California.  And they’re all supporting it by more than half a million dollars, with Chevron leading the way with $3.75M in donations for the Yes on 26 campaign, according to Maplight.Org.  Supporters of Prop 26 have spent $16M compared to less than $5M spent by opponents of Prop 26.

I could tell you about why we need to vote no on Proposition 26, but do I really need to?  When Chevron and Philip Morris are piling contributions on a particular piece of legislation (or a politician for that matter), you can pretty much assume it’s dastardly. The thing that really gets me is how quiet this campaign has been. The backers of Prop 26 have even paired it with Prop 25 in a sort of “Follow the peanut under the clamshell” street performer routine.  It’s clear they’re relying on confusion, because the Proposition itself is just plain shameful.

From Jay Kimball’s recent article,

Prop 26 would make it more difficult for state and local government to impose mitigation fees on business activities that cause harm to the environment or public health and safety. For example, fees imposed on tobacco companies to fund health-related programs, on industries for toxic waste cleanup and on alcohol retailers for law enforcement. In other words, when companies do us harm, through increased pollution, health risk, toxic waste, and crime, Prop 26 shifts the cost of those problems to the tax payer, and away from those businesses that caused the problem.”

How is this accomplished?  By requiring a 2/3 vote for any fee imposed on an offending company who harms public health.  Yes, California is progressive, but there are more than 1/3 of the minority party here in California who have steadfastly opposed anything pushed forth by the majority party. In recent years, this has meant a catastrophic (and annually recurring) delay in getting a budget signed.  You can only imagine that getting any fees for transgressions past a minority Republican party aligned heavily with oil and gas interests and working in uniform lockstep opposition to anything in the public interest will be quite difficult.

So who will pay the bill when these cleanups are necessary or when an outbreak of public health issues occur?  The taxpayer.

Doubt it?  Why else would Chevron be dumping almost $4M into this campaign?

———————————————————————————————

Scott Cooney is the author of Build a Green Small Business (McGraw-Hill) and Principal of GreenBusinessOwner.com


▼▼▼      2 Comments     ▼▼▼

Categorized: Clean Technology|

Newsletter Signup
  • Earl Richards

    PROP 26 is just as destructive as PROP 23. Prop 26 is a treacherous, Big Oil rip-off, which “passes the buck” from oil corporation, clean-up fees to the public’s taxes, who will pay the oil recycling fees, the materials hazards fees and other fees. If you do not understand the ambiguities and the intrigues behind Prop 26, then, vote no. Exxon Mobil, Shell and BP are silent partners behind Prop 26. Power to the people.

  • Wayne

    The key thing to keep in mind is that, according to CARB, the organization who wrote and will enforce AB32, AB 32 will do NOTHING to help global warming, will cost jobs and have a negative effect on the economy. This comes from the very people who drew it up!

    AB 32 does nothing for local pollution.

    Prop 23 leaves us with the toughest pollution laws in the country, among the toughest in the world. It will NOT increase local pollution

    If Proposition 23 is rejected, here is what will happen according to expert sources:

    •A 60 percent increase in your electricity bill according to the Southern California Public Power Authority.

    •An 8 percent increase in your natural gas bill according to CARB’s economic analysis.

    •$50,000 more for the price of a new home according to an analysis by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

    •$3.7 billion a year more for gasoline and diesel according to Sierra Research.

    •A $1,000-$3,000 additional cost for a new car according to CARB and automaker studies.

    On top of all that, a study conducted for the California Small Business Roundtable found that AB 32 regulations would cost small business alone nearly $200 billion, and would result in more than 1 million lost jobs.

    The more I learn about AB 32, the more I fear it. It just gets worse. Please vote yes on Prop23.

    “”2 Guys on the Bay Area Transportation Board told the CARB people, “If you try to do what you are going to do(AB 32) we’ll have gas at $9.07 a gallon and we have freeway tolls at up to $4,500 a year to drive during rush hour.”

    “Part of the plan is to stop suburban development, get people to stop driving, make driving too expensive for people to live out there, force them to live in high-rises, condos, in the city.”

    For months, John and Ken have made Prop 23 their top priority, calling it a necessary step to stop a law they say will kill jobs and cost Californians a fortune in higher gas and energy prices. With an estimated one million listeners per week, these two guys usually manage to rally enough votes to get their way.

    The video has John and Ken explaining why they think this bill is the most important measure on the ballot.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/39853750