It should be obvious, given the ballooning price of gas, the pervasive feeling of economic uncertainty and the necessity of finding independence from brutal foreign regimes that some sort of alternative energy package is needed to both calm the economy and move America into the next generation of energy production. This bill will work admirably on both fronts, as the approach it takes creates a perfect incentive structure with which to allow market mechanisms to solve this crisis.
This bill allows consumers, who previously either could not or would not buy alternative fuel-based vehicles, to substantially reduce the risk in such a purchase through the appropriation of State money. This will increase the demand for alternative energy sources, and as any student of economics knows, innovation on a new and untried technology is substantially more likely when there is a proven market for it. Moreover, the tax incentives provided by the Government to suppliers will balance out this demand-side push by giving suppliers a reason to increase production in order to meet this demand and make prices of alternative fuel technology more affordable. These market mechanisms will lead to unprecedented economic success not just in the private sphere, but also in the public sphere, as it is estimated to increase State sales tax revenue by 716 million dollars and revenue from Vehicle licensing fees by 280 million. At the point where these sorts of gains in revenue will occur naturally, it should be obvious that this bill will not involve any necessity of raising taxes.
But this bill will not only loosen the chokehold of fossil fuels on California’s wallets; it will also loosen the choking grasp of global warming and pollution on the environment. The goals of Proposition 10 are entirely consistent with the goals of California’s greenhouse gas reduction measures, especially AB32, and will help California not only to meet the standards established by AB32, but possibly even to exceed them. According to the San Jose Mercury News, Proposition 10 will also aid in efforts to meet the standards laid down by the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and the Renewable Portfolio Standard. A study by the environmental think-tank TIAX has also shown that for every $1 billion Proposition 10 invests, 1700 megawatts of power will be produced, strengthening California’s independence from more dangerous and less reliable sources of energy. The bill will also cut down substantially on the pollution introduced by out-of-date Diesel Trucks which will be retired under Proposition 10. The fumes from these trucks contribute to rising rates of all sorts of illness, including asthma, which will be rapidly curbed if Proposition 10 is passed. So considering that Proposition 10 can not only cure the sickness of Diesel workers, but also the sickness of California’s economy and of the nation’s energy policy, there is no good reason not to vote for it.