Green Propositions in California Are Frustrating!

California is great for going green in a lot of ways. Lots of sunshine for those who want solar power. Often good incentives for it too. Curbside recycling in many areas.

Unfortunately, the statewide propositions we have to consider aren’t so great.

I have a love/hate thing for the system of state propositions. On the one hand, it means the votes can decide on things the legislature isn’t going to bother with. There’s a more direct say.

On the other hand, some propositions end up really being on things the legislature should have taken care of, because they require so much research to make an intelligent decision on.

The two big ones are Prop 7 and Prop 10.

It pains me to be against Prop 7. It really does. But I see its goals as unrealistic. I’d love to be able to meet those goals, but generating 20% of the energy created by government owned utilities from renewable sources by 2010 strikes me as highly unrealistic. It’s nearly the end of 2008, after all! Add in that opponents include the Sierra Club, the California Democratic Party and the California Republican Party, as well as many other groups.

But does it ever hurt to oppose it. I love the idea! Especially since the goals keep increasing. But I worry about the potential impact on smaller companies, and how we develop our use of renewable energy sources. This looks too likely to be a solution that will slow progress down, not speed it up.

When my family got together to discuss the propositions, we at first thought Prop 10 sounded good. But my mother works for the state and while she doesn’t deal with the budget in her job (she’s in worker’s comp), she certainly feels the pinch when the state can’t settle on a budget and stops paying for a time. For those of you out of state, that’s happened a lot of years lately. They get the back pay eventually, but it’s a pain.

She always gets mad when they say a bond issue won’t increase taxes. It won’t that year, but how exactly do people expect the bonds to be paid back?

Opponents also say this is mostly to fund natural gas vehicles. Not nearly so much hybrids, electric cars and so forth. These vehicles don’t even necessarily pollute less than regular ones!

As you can imagine, being against these two nominally environmental propositions is really hard for me. It would be so much nicer to have something that could be supported as a step in the right direction, even if it weren’t perfect. These two are so far beyond perfect I can’t support them.