As global warming continues to threaten the earth and we face high gas prices, it has become the general consensus that it’s time to push for more renewable energy. With Proposition 7, California will produce 50 percent of its energy through renewable resources by 2025. This is the push we need.
Proposition 7 meets the environmental guidelines set by the Warren-Alquist Act and the Desert Protection Act, and in no way harms the environment. In fact, three Nobel Prize-winning scientists who claim the proposition is the right step for California to achieve cleaner energy have advocated Proposition 7.
Current law requires utility companies to produce 20 percent of their energy through renewable resources by 2010. Proposition 7 increases the requirements to 50 percent by 2025. Currently, utilities produce 2 to 13 percent of their energy from renewable sources. Such low outputs are simply unacceptable at a time when global warming presents such an imminent threat to the world.
The push Proposition 7 calls for will make California the world leader in clean energy. Not only will California be doing more than its part to fight global warming, it will set an example for the rest of the world to follow. It also deals effectively with keeping large utility providers such as Pacific Gas and Electric Company and Southern California Edison from profiting from this measure.
First, the measure calls for the dismissal of the current cap on the number of fines issued to utility providers for non-compliance with renewable energy laws. This aspect acts as an incentive – the incentive not to get penalized – for large utility providers to abide by guidelines set by Proposition 7. Any penalties collected will go toward establishing transmission lines to provide the energy grid with access to renewable energy. The utility providers, whether willingly or not, will be contributing toward renewable energy.
Finally, Proposition 7 will help the economy, which is an issue of increasing importance to voters. About 370,000 high-paying jobs will be created by new high-tech, green jobs. Not only that, the energy bills of all Californians will go down substantially in the long run. It’s a win-win situation.
Despite all this, there has been heavy opposition to Proposition 7. Many newspapers have opposed it on arguments that are simply vague and biased. For example, the Los Angeles Times claims the measure is poorly written and that new jobs won’t actually be created. Yet, no proof is offered, or an example for that matter, to back these claims.
One thing voters should look at when forming an opinion about a controversial proposition are the sources of the funding each side of the debate receives. In this case, an estimated $31 million has been donated to the campaign against Proposition 7. Of the $31 million, large utility companies such as Pacific Gas and Electric Company and Southern California Edison have donated $30 million. Only about 0.2 percent of the funding has come from sources other than utility companies.
Proposition 7 will put California on the map as a leader in renewable energy, create new jobs, lower energy costs in the long run and, most importantly fight global warming. Only utility companies benefit by rejecting it.
So, vote yes on Proposition 7 and help California fight global warming.
Neil Thakore is a first-year political science major. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.