Calpirg’s Consumer Advocate, Pedro Morillas, will speak on Proposition 16 on Wednesday, May 5 at 6:30 PM at the Clubhouse at the Lakeshore Apartments, 1175 Lake Boulevard, Davis. He is hosted by Yolo Progressive Democrats of America.
Prop 16, the New Two-Thirds Requirement for Local Public Electricity Act, is on the June 8 ballot in California. If passed, a two thirds majority vote of the electorate will be required for public agencies to enter the retail power business. The current threshold for passage is a simple majority of 51%.
Prop 16 was placed on the ballot by PG&E in response to threats of competition from Community Choice Aggregations (CCA’s), now proposed by San Francisco, Marin and communities in the San Joaquin valley. CCA’s would replace PG&E as the source of electricity, negotiating with power plants, wind farms and solar facilities for best prices. Thus, CCA’s would provide alternatives to PG&E’s business practices and energy sources. PG&E would continue to provide and service the electrical grids for distribution.
PG&E is the sole contributor to “Yes on 16;” its message is that this measure gives us “The Right to Vote.” As such, it is surely not needed because we already have the right to vote. PG$E expects to spend $25 to $35 million in the campaign, a sum it can well afford with $1.22 billion in profits last year. The initiative process, by which this measure was put on the ballot, itself favors wealthy special interest groups that can afford professional crews of “bounty hunters” to collect the more than 400,000 required signatures. PG$E’s slick, costly and misleading television ads are difficult to avoid.
In contrast, the opposition has raised $40,000 as of late March. This is surely a David and Goliath battle with corporate dominance. Unfortunately, it is only one of many to come. And, unfortunately, we will have to fight each of these hugely unequal battles.
Please come and get involved.