- “Prop 16 would change the California Constitution to require two-thirds supermajority vote before any municipality (city, county, district, etc.) could form its own nonprofit public utility, expand an existing publicly owned utility, or buy clean, renewable energy for the community at wholesale prices.”
PG and E is said to have written the initiative and is the only one funding the campaign. PG and E is trying to keep its market share by force. Many people feel there are better ways to stay ahead: competitive prices and fulfilling its commitment to clean, renewable energy.
Some are worried that this change would prevent community choice in electricity. With community choice, a little-known option, a municipality could choose whether they wanted to power their homes with wind, solar, biomass, or even wave energy. So if your town wanted to use wind power, for instance, and take control over their impact on pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and prices, they could opt-out of the investor-owned utility company. Also, customers in your town could opt-out of the community choice and stay with the utility company, it’s their choice. If Prop. 16 passes, it means local governments would be required to receive two-thirds voter approval before they could start up electricity services or expand electricity service into a new territory. Some believe this puts local government spending in the hands of the taxpayer.
Coal is still being used as the primary electricity generator in California. See: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=California_and_coal. Power companies aren’t meeting their goals for renewable energy statewide. And now some taxpayers feel that PG and E is trying to taking away their choice.
As with any proposition, voters need to be fully informed and the three sources below are a good place to start: