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Would Texas Play Dirty in World Series? (San Francisco vs Texas as Prop 23 Metaphor)

Scott Cooney | Friday October 22nd, 2010 | 7 Comments

With eager anticipation and just a week to go before the World Series begins, we sit on the edge of our seats watching the buildup.  The potential for an epic battle of Texas versus San Francisco and California is huge. With all their shared history of national political influence, and of course, stereotypical cultural differences, the battle couldn’t be more diametrically opposed if they were different countries.

Take, for example, the two states’ views on litter.  Back in the early moments of the environmental revolution, California ran an ad campaign with a Native American solemnly shedding a tear witnessing careless litterbugs dropping trash.  The state of Texas, knowing full well that that sappy stuff wouldn’t fly with its residents, started the “Don’t Mess With Texas” campaign (yes, it was originally an anti-litter slogan).

Now the two states are set to square off in one of the biggest heavyweight campaigns ever. Yep, that’s right. Cody Ross (above), Tim Lincecum, and their teammates with the San Francisco Giants symbolize clean energy. Tommy Hunter (left) and his Texas Rangers teammates symbolize pollution, oil barons, billionaires, and  Proposition 23. Texas oil companies (with additional funding from some  oil billionaires whose good-hearted philanthropy includes the “healthy formaldehyde” campaign) have spent millions in an attempt to buy a statewide policy in California that would allow them to pollute the Golden State to their heart’s content. They argue against regulations. They claim it would save jobs. The facts in the case are not on their side, but the money is, and sometimes that’s enough.

Passage of Proposition 23 would mean Texas would win.  Their oil companies would be able to pollute without fear of retribution, meaning more money would flow out of Clean Energy, and out of California and into Dirty Energy, and Texas’ coffers.  More dirty energy jobs in the oil industry.  Smokestacks dominating skylines. Regressive policy inhibiting solar, wind, and geothermal development in favor of more fossil fuels. Defeat of Proposition 23 would mean California would win. More investment in clean energy. More jobs. More startups. Less outside influence in political campaigns.

Is this emblematic of the dichotomy offered politically by these two states? California votes on another Proposition this year that would eliminate Gerrymandering. Texas has perfected it, squeezing the minority party of Democrats there into ever more interesting looking districts.

Proposition 23 would increase gas price volatility, kill clean energy jobs (California’s economic bright spot), cause investors to stop investing, corrupt the democratic process, and make people sick, especially in the poorer communities.

When will Texas stop threatening to secede from the nation? When will they understand that, even in their own state, clean energy makes good business sense? When will they stop “Messing” with other states? When will the leader of the red states finally get with the freaking program?

California’s Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said it well:  “They are creating a shell argument that they are doing this to protect jobs,” the governor said. “Does anybody really believe they are doing this out of the goodness of their black oil hearts – spending millions and millions of dollars to save jobs?”

California’s likely next Lieutenant Governor, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, said it just as well in a new ad campaign that is more about Prop 23 than his own campaign:  “They say don’t mess with Texas,” Newsom scoffed. “I say this, don’t mess with Californians.”
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Scott Cooney is the author of Build a Green Small Business (McGraw-Hill) and Principal of GreenBusinessOwner.com


▼▼▼      7 Comments     ▼▼▼

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  • Earl Richards

    Tell the Dallas/Houston oil crowd, “Don’t mess with California.”

  • dean

    When I say
    “Let’s Go Gi-ants!”
    You say
    “No On 2-3!”

  • http://8020vision.com jaykimball

    Ironically, Texas should understand the importance of clean renewable energy. They have the largest installed base of wind turbines in the US. In fact, many of the wind turbines are on ranches with dead and gone oil wells, drained by our past hunger for oil.

    For more interesting info on oil and energy, see:
    http://8020vision.com/category/global-challenges/energy/

    In that listing, check out “Top Business Leaders Deliver Clean Energy Plan” for an example of a responsible business approach to energy. Big oil could learn something from them.

    Also, see my article Monday, 25 October, at TriplePundit, on why if you don’t like Prop 23, your really not going to like Prop 26.

    Jay Kimball
    8020 Vision

  • jim stronson

    Texas…why do they claim to be patriotic and then try to keep us energy dependent on foreign oil?

  • Steve

    Geez, quit making baseball into a political statement. Do people actually realize that Texas is a progressive, clean, friendly state? Texans love their environment and the soil they stand on. It’s baseball.

  • Wayne

    @JayKimball
    Texas has increased it’s wind power without a job killer 23, and is still growing its economy at roughly the same pace that California’s is shrinking.

    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

  • Sash

    I’m an environmentalist who lived in Texas for 14 years and have now lived in San Francisco for 15 years. It’s disheartening that protesters would sully the World Series by trying to tie it to Props 23 and 26. So ridiculous.