Pacific Gas and Electric Company has already spent $6.5 million on a June ballot measure that would make it much tougher for cities to purchase renewable energy on their own. And the public utility plans to spend millions more of rate-payer dollars on its measure, Proposition 16. PG&E is digging deep into its treasury because it fears losing market share if municipalities get into the public power business in order to increase their usage of green energy, including solar and wind power.
Prop. 16 would force municipalities to get a supermajority, two-thirds vote from citizens before getting into the public power market. In other words, a small minority of voters could block grassroots efforts to combat climate change. Prop. 16 also would require a supermajority vote for existing public power agencies, including Alameda’s municipal power company, before they can expand into the green-energy market.
PG&E has maintained over the years that it supports renewable energy, but as the Express has reported previously, the utility in actuality, is spending huge sums on increasing its natural-gas consumption, thereby adding to the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.