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About this blog: I grew up in Los Angeles and moved to the area in 1963 when I started graduate school at Stanford. Nancy and I were married in 1977 and we lived for nearly 30 years in the Duveneck school area. Our children went to Paly. We moved ...  (More)

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I Will Vote No on Propostion 23

Uploaded: Sep 25, 2010
I will vote no on Proposition 23. AB 32, which this proposition seeks to suspend, will help the California economy, as well as our health, air quality and national security.

The purpose of AB 32 is to accelerate the movement away from carbon-based energy sources such as oil and coal to alternative energy sources including solar and wind. AB 32 consists of rules and incentives to encourage businesses and consumers to become more energy efficient and to slowly switch energy sources to cleaner energy. Proposition 23 would suspend AB 32 until the state's unemployment rate was below 5.5% for a year, which is unlikely to happen before 2020 at the earliest.

The principal components of AB 32 are greater fuel efficiency standards for vehicles, a requirement that utilities get 33% of their energy from renewable sources by 2035 and an emission trading system (cap and trade) where the amount of allowable greenhouse gas emissions are reduced every year and emitters can buy and sell permits with the objective of meeting the goals in the least cost approach.

I support AB 32 for four principal reasons none of which relate to reducing global warming, which would come as an added benefit. My support comes after serving for eight months on an economic review committee that provided an independent assessment of the ARB and other economic analyses of AB 32. Our report can be viewed at


One, AB 32 will lead to lower energy costs through facilitating efficiency innovations and providing a broad market that will accelerate cost reductions for alternative energy sources. While alternative energy sources in the beginning are more expensive than carbon-based energy such as oil, this will change over time as oil prices rise and alternative energy prices decline. As a result, consumers and businesses will save money in addition to the money saved as AB 32 policies spur energy efficiency.

Two, there are health and air quality benefits to Californians that are real although they are not counted in the conventional economic analyses of AB 32. The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions will, at the same time, reduce emissions that cause local air pollution, which in turn causes illness and associated health care costs.

Three, AB 32 will continue to make California the most sought after location for new firms seeking to develop innovative products and services to meet the demand from consumers and businesses for energy efficiency. These efforts, which now lead our venture capital sector, can make California a center for innovation in new battery technology, electric vehicles and products and services related to solar energy. The local venture capital community, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (including the Valley's largest technology companies) and the Bay Area Council all oppose Proposition 23 along with the Governor and former cabinet Secretary George Shultz under Presidents Nixon and Reagan.

This week at the ARB hearing on the 33% renewable portfolio standard for utilities, the state's largest utilities supported the proposal and many, such as PG&E, also oppose Proposition 23.

Four, reducing our dependence on oil will have benefits for our national security and allow more flexibility in our foreign policy implementation around the world.

The intent of AB 32 is to shift the financial incentives away from using carbon-based energy sources such as oil. There will be a period of transition and it is certain that the use of oil for energy in California will be less than it otherwise would be without AB 32. All of the credible economic analyses conclude that the economic impacts of AB 32, which do not count health or air quality benefits or the emergence of new industries, are, nevertheless, small in comparison to the size of the state's economy. Moreover, any transition costs are likely to be less than previously expected as the deep recession will make meeting the emission reduction targets much easier in the next few years as emissions have fallen during the recession.

Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Meg, a resident of ,
on Sep 25, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Both Meg and Jerry are opposed to this proposition. The main groups supporting it are the big pollution companies like BP. You know what they want to do to California.

Posted by Reddy Kilowatt, a resident of ,
on Sep 25, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Most in Palo Alto might not be aware that PG&E recently announced its opposition to Prop. 23. Now, many of you are receiving notices from PG&E that they are raising your rates under a deal they negotiated with CARB allowing them to bill you for over $16 million in AB 32 "administrative costs"! More money for them and less for you - and guess what? This is also a tax because the money is what PG&E has to pay CARB.

All content, comments and back room deals the CARB and the legislature are pulling should be open for all the public to see.


VOTE YES on Prop 23.

Posted by Lois, a resident of ,
on Sep 25, 2010 at 4:21 pm

I'll be voting against anything that involves wind energy. The wind turbines kill many raptors. In one year the wind turbines at the Altamont Pass killed over 40 Golden Eagles not to mention many hawks and owls. Birds of prey are going down in number every year in California.

Posted by Earl Richards, a resident of ,
on Sep 25, 2010 at 4:30 pm

The California Jobs Initiative (CJI) is an oil corporation farce and fraud. There is no connection, whatsoever, between greenhouse gas emission reduction and the loss of jobs. This notion is an insult to the intelligence of the people of California. In fact, there is job growth in the clean, renewable energy industry. Chevron employs 65,000 worldwide and CJI is not going to change this. The only jobs created by the oil industry are clean-up jobs after oil spills and deep water, blow-outs and pump-handler jobs. CJI will make fantastic profits for the oil industry, increase air pollution, especially in communities around their refineries, and there will not be lower gas prices. Koch Industries, Valero and Tesoro are super Enrons. Since when did the oil companies start to show any concern for the unemployed and their families and for small businesses?

Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of ,
on Sep 25, 2010 at 5:48 pm

I also oppose this proposition, and will confine my comments to one aspect of the argument: jobs in California.

I find it ironic that many who support Prop 23 say we cannot afford to do this until we improve the job situation in the State, and those who oppose it assert that it will create new jobs for people. Huh?

As a country and as a state, much of the loss of jobs has more to do with structural changes in the economy, not just the severe recession we continue to experience. Work that used to be done here is gone permanently to off-shore parters such as China. Neither fiscal stimulus or tax cuts will bring those types of jobs back to the States. They are gone. And not coming back.

32 offers a structural change in the California economy that can be stick to the ribs, along the lines of the bio-tech industry. It is part of the next wave of high tech, at which California excels, and creates companies and jobs that will not relocate in the forseeable future, wherever they are created. Why not here? In fact, this is the best place in the world for them to be created, given the talent pool and research capabilities already in place.

The traditional notions of fiscal and monetary policy no longer are sufficient. The structural changes in economies around the world are affecting things as much or more than what the Fed, Congress, any White House administration can do around long term structural adjustments to the US economy.

32 took a long view of what the California economy can look like, and those behind Prop 23 are short sighted in their polemics to rescind it. To me this one is a no brainer.

Posted by Meme Mine, a resident of ,
on Sep 25, 2010 at 7:24 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Perspective, a resident of ,
on Sep 26, 2010 at 6:14 am

Anything based on increasing costs and regulations to "save us" from climate change I am against. Great propoganda based on bad science.

We don't change the climate with our CO2. It is a hoax backed by those who want power ( pun intended) and money for themselves at the expense of others.

We could repeat the same old tired arguments for/against human caused climate change, but there are plenty of threads and info for this for those who wish to learn.

As for our economy...I learn from others. Spain lost jobs, not created, with their equivalent legislation, with no increase in "non carbon based" energy use.

Web Link

"No brainer" can be taken 2 ways.

I have finally learned enough to know that anything meant to "help" us from government will hurt us.

Therefore, I am voting for Prop 23 to stop the further destruction of this State. If it fails, more businesses move out of our State.

As for the "increased security" argument...if security is a concern, then stop blocking us from drilling and using our own oil so we can get off other countries' oil. At the same time, private investors who believe in "green" energy alternatives will keep looking for real solutions that pay..when someone finds one that works, I am certain it will take off, make the inventors and investors rich, and decrease our oil dependence.

BTW, I like the verification code now showing up at the submit button. Nice way to stop the spam popping up now!

Posted by Greg, a resident of ,
on Sep 26, 2010 at 1:05 pm

We can raise our taxes (via increased energy bills, both business and residential), with the hope that alternative energy will be a panacea (the Stephen Levy approach) or we can demand that we increase our ability to provide cheap baseload energy. This means nuclear power.

Low cost energy is a major factor for some businesses, like server farms and aluminum producers and extraction industries and food processors and air-conditioning users. The subsidizing of alternative energy strategies, including cap-and-trade is an ideological, rather than a rational approach. It will drive business away from California, not into it. Ask Spain.

There is really only one answer, and that is nuclear power. That is why Stuart Brand, an environmentalist, supports it.

I will vote "yes" on prop 23.

Posted by Jim Drennan, a resident of ,
on Sep 26, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Stephen, thank you for the link. It is refreshing to see a real document that CARB considers. It seems that, in spite of its favorable comments about CARB, it does reveal how unpredictable the results of AB32 implementation will be. As pointed out, Carb's study doesn't cite the possible intangible benefits, but it also doesn't
account for some very real costs. Some of these costs have already been realized by small businesses. One example is the premature obsolescence of equipment and facilities and the consequent loss of capital. Another would be the preferential treatment (i.e. subsidies, cost off-sets, positive PR, etc.) of "green" businesses over existing businesses. An examination of CARB's web site reveal's that a large portion of the fines they impose are for lack of paperwork, AB32 has created another administrative burden on every business in CA. With a mission statement that sets an arbitrary goal of reducing GHG to 1990 levels by 2020, CARB blieves it is a work in process, and can continue to add additional regulations, fines and fees to every industry and individual as it deems fit. This "authority" injects a huge amount of uncertainty into the economic climate of CA. The idea that the recovery will be fueled by Silicone Valley-like industries is misplaced. The history of Slicone Valley has shown it to be a great incubator for innovation and finance, but once a product has proven its success the majority of jobs associated with producing the product are performed out of state. I believe we all want a cleaner environment, but we are not isolated and consequently are subject to global influence. CA has had its greatest influence on the world when it was prosperous, now we are struggling, and AB32 is only adding to the restrictions every citizen is faceing to make a decent living. This current government and its command and control policies are bankrupting this state, and suspending AB32 is just one step in the right direction to bring CA back to the golden state it once was. Save the business climate, vote yes on Prop23.

Posted by pat, a resident of ,
on Sep 26, 2010 at 2:31 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Sharon, a resident of ,
on Sep 26, 2010 at 8:01 pm

The UN has just asked the head of the the UN AGW group--- the Indian railway engineer-- to resign-- or be fired--an extra ordinary step for any UN group--for fraud and financial corruption--a first--may many follow.
We are opposed to pseudo-science --both Creationism and AGW
One of the great development of Christian Civilization is the balance between Faith and Reason.

Posted by truefreedom4all, a resident of ,
on Sep 26, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Don't be deceived. AB 32 is already driving businesses out of our state. Prop 23 will stop this. Don't listen to the brain washing - find out for yourself:
Web Link

Prop 23 does NOT stop environmental protections. It just stops one piece of legislation that is doing alot of damage to the economy because it IS driving businesses and thus jobs from the state.

Posted by Greg, a resident of ,
on Sep 27, 2010 at 10:37 am

A reputable survey of business CEOs nationwide (Web Link ), asking about the business climate, shows that California is worst than worst (51st out of 50!).

These crazy incentives (aka penalties) to push "green" are a big nail in our economic coffin. We need cheap energy, not expensive energy. We need baseload energy, not sporadic energy. The answer is nuclear power.

Stephen Levy is an ideologue, so I can kind of understand him. However, I do not see Paul Losch as an ideologue, therefore I would like to see Paul respond to the CEO survey, and to explain why CEOs are against these crippling air quality restrictions. I would also ask Paul why he is not supporting nuclear power in his blog. Paul?

Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of ,
on Sep 27, 2010 at 6:53 pm


You suggest that I do not support nuclear power as part of the approach we need going forward. Don't be so presumptious.

It would be a useful discourse around where nuclear power is now compared to 30 years ago.

But this is Steve's posting about a certain matter on the ballot this November.

Posted by Greg, a resident of ,
on Sep 27, 2010 at 7:16 pm


You talk about structural changes to the California and national economy. Nuclear power certainly fits into the paradigm.

Do you think nuclear power would be a major benefit to our state economy, or not? Simple question. If your answer is in the affirmative, then why would you be pushing a "no" on Prop 23, since such a position is a diversion away from a real answer to our problems?

Posted by Polly Wanacracker, a resident of ,
on Sep 28, 2010 at 9:48 am

"A reputable survey of business CEOs nationwide (Web Link ), asking about the business climate, shows that California is worst than worst (51st out of 50!)."

Golly. Is that why the Silicon Valley is in North Dakota instead of California?

Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of ,
on Sep 28, 2010 at 12:14 pm


My very limited understanding is the the techologies for nuclear are dramatically different that what we built in the 1970's and earlier--safer, less waste, among other things. Certainly worth some serious scrutiny if that is the case.

Posted by Peter, a resident of ,
on Sep 28, 2010 at 3:17 pm

I found our governor's comments to the Commonwealth Club on this subject quite credible: Schwarzenegger, speaking before several hundred people at the Commonwealth Club in Santa Clara, said the proponents of Prop. 23 are attempting to subvert the democratic process using scare tactics. He likened the campaign to a shell game hiding what he said was the real purpose: "self-serving greed."

"They are creating a shell argument that they are doing this to protect jobs," the governor said. "Does anybody really believe they are doing this out of the goodness of their black oil hearts - spending millions and millions of dollars to save jobs?"

The people behind this proposed legislation are two Texas oil firms, whose refineries in California produce major pollution, and the Koch brothers, the money and organizing muscle behind the Tea Party, a supposed grass roots organization. While there are elements of real grass roots in the movement,most of it is astroturf. The Koch brothers control Koch Industries, whose various arms are among the worst polluters in the country.

If they said the sun had risen, I would look outside to check.

Posted by Peter, a resident of ,
on Sep 28, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Here's a link to the news story on the governor's comments. Web Link

Posted by Greg, a resident of ,
on Sep 28, 2010 at 3:35 pm


Until the politicians and pundits and other blatherers are ready to endorse nuclear power, it is all a bunch of baloney.

On the clean energy/economy front, there is only ONE solution, and that is nuclear power. Arnold is a finger-in-the-wind politician. AB-32 is a deliberate avoidance of the real issues facing us. It sounds like you swallowed his bait.

Vote "yes" on Prop 23, because it will stop the absurdity of AB-32. This means that we we be back to confronting our real issues, instead of fantasies.

Posted by Polly Wanacracker, a resident of ,
on Sep 28, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Speaking of fantasies, wasn't nuclear power supposed to be so cheap they wouldn't bother to meter it? I ask because I understand that 20% of our electricity is nuclear power right now, and they diligently meter all of it.

Posted by Greg, a resident of ,
on Sep 28, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Polly cracker,

Yes, that was the original claim, by some. Probably a tad too optimistic, but not by much, if the forces alligned against nuclear did not put up so many legal obstacles. The fact that nuclear needs to be metered, like other sources of electrical generation, does not diminish its obvious value.

The question remains: What source of clean baseload electrical generation exists, other than nuclear?

Posted by peter, a resident of ,
on Sep 28, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Actually, Greg, you have obviously done your homework on nuclear power, but Prop 23 is the deliberate avoidance of the issues facing us. AB-32 is a genuine attempt to deal with them. Nuclear may have a place in the mix but you advocate only nuclear and you always advocate nuclear to the exclusion of everything else, and, I'm sorry, that's not realistic.

Because of the regulatory approval process for nuclear power, any jobs it might generate are years in the future, while those that are resulting and will result from AB-32, are here now and will increase in the near future. More of them are long-term jobs with potential for growth than those in the nuclear industry, which calls for an initial spurt of construction jobs and then a much smaller roster of continuing permanent jobs -- most of those high skilled.

Providing power without addressing the problem of pollution from existing sources seems to me to be a dangerously partial solution to the problem. We need to be dealing with multiple issues essentially simultaneously.

P.S. I find it interesting that the number of the proposition is the reverse of the existing statute, an obvious attempt to confuse the voters.

Posted by Reddy Kilowatt, a resident of ,
on Sep 28, 2010 at 11:18 pm

Green power is inefficient. All the folks that solar paneled-up are not off the grid and face a huge up front cost. Nuke Power is the most efficient and the king of recyclable, sustainable power source. If the govt. would just allow breeder plants and get rid of 1/2 the paperwork nonsense.

AB-32, is a job killer and if you look at the polls more people see this as well. Web Link

Just when you think that Al Gore is off to his sex-poodle stud farm. Up comes the next boogie man: Web Link


VOTE YES on Prop 23.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of ,
on Sep 29, 2010 at 4:49 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

In a recent issue of Engineering News Record the smog boys admitted that the data rationalizing extreme controls on diesel driven construction equipment was essentially a WAG, or wild assed guess. Texas is currently suing the EPA to stop enforcement of CO2, Greenhouse and other Warmie legislation because the "science" justifying the regulation that energy cons is deeply flawed. PG&E brags that energy consumption in California has grown less than in other states. Closed factories and idled farms are very economical in their energy use, but of little use to the economy. Sorry, Mr. Levy, but you're wrong again. Predictably.

Posted by Greg, a resident of ,
on Sep 29, 2010 at 7:23 am

" but Prop 23 is the deliberate avoidance of the issues facing us"

Peter, I disagree. Prop 23 will prevent us from jumping into an expensive job killing trap (which is what AB 32 is). AB 32 promises expensive boutique sporadic electrical generation (a net job killer)...it will not provide cheap baseload power, which would be a major job enhancer for the state.

It should not be overlooked that AB 32 is driving a major rape of the Mojave desert, as the energy companies cover it up with inefficient solar panels. By contrast, modular mini-nuclear units can be sited in each town or city, with a very small footprint.

Vote "yes" on Prop 23 if you want to save jobs and the environment.

Posted by Polly Wanacracker, a resident of ,
on Sep 29, 2010 at 11:00 am

"Yes, that was the original claim, by some. Probably a tad too optimistic, but not by much, ..."

Lewis L. Strauss, who made that claim, was not just "some," he was chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. He knew very well what he was saying. Web Link

To express my opinion charitably, I think it shows the nuclear advocates are not good at thinking their position through. Why should we believe what you people say now, when you admit we can't believe what your highest priest said then?

"... if the forces alligned against nuclear did not put up so many legal obstacles."

But that's the point, isn't it? They didn't believe the nuclear fantasies then, and you have conceded they were right not to believe.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of ,
on Sep 29, 2010 at 11:19 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

"Too cheap to meter?" Not unbelievable. In Sacramento until recently that applied to water. They charged a flat rate depending on connection size. Edison's electric company charged by the light bulb.
Charging by wire size eliminates cost of meters and readers. The re ord of nuclear safety in commercial and naval reactors for half a century has beat almost any other energy form.

Posted by Greg, a resident of ,
on Sep 29, 2010 at 11:22 am

Polly cracker,

I believe your thinking is convoluted.

If nuclear power was allowed to develop, without the paranoids throwing up so much legal and political interference, the electrcity produced may well have been too cheap to meter. This does not mean that it would be free, just that metering would be a waste of resources, vs. a structured fee model.

You seem to have watched too many reruns of Jane Fonda and her China syndrome myths.

I think most of us want a prosperous California economy. We cannot get there by buying expensive boutique energy.

Vote "yes" on Prop 23. Then demand a real answer: NUCLEAR!

Posted by Polly Wanacracker, a resident of ,
on Sep 29, 2010 at 12:42 pm

"I believe your thinking is convoluted."

Believe what you want; the facts remain facts. The "paranoids throwing up so much legal and political interference" are rational people who don't believe what the nuclear advocates tell them because they have been lied to and they found out. Most people believe the "paranoids," not the other side, for good reason: their case lacks the convolution of the advocates' case.

A convincing rational case for nuclear power would be far more effective than calling your opponents silly names. You not only do not have one, you have a Chernobyl-sized hole to crawl out of, and that is why you are getting nowhere. Your frustration is perfectly understandable.

Posted by Greg, a resident of ,
on Sep 29, 2010 at 1:10 pm

"the facts remain facts"

Polly cracker, I agree with you. Now please inform all of us about the danger of nuclear power in the United States. For example, have more people been killed by electric nuclear plant radiation, or in the back of Senator Kennedy's car? Was Three Mile Island a safety success or a safety failure? Does electrcity from coal fired plants produce more or less released radiation? Is it more dangerous to live next to a nuclear plant, or in Denver, CO? Does low cost electrcity save more lives than high cost electricity?

Have at it, Polly...

In the meantime, if rational people want a prosperous state, vote "yes" on Prop 23...and demand nuclear.

Posted by stephen levy, a resident of ,
on Sep 29, 2010 at 1:22 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

The main campaign debate is about the impact of AB 32 and Prop 23 on the Califoria economy. The YES side argues that AB 32 is a "job killer" a phrase regularly used when someone opposes a policy. The NO campaign argues that AB 32 will be good for the economy and that the YES campaign is almost entirely funded by "Texas oil companies" arguing for their self-interest.

This will take several posts to discuss thoughtfully but I will start here with two arguments from posters that are either wrong or contradictory.

Walter, above, implies that the energy efficency gains in California are becaues we have "closed factories and idle farms".

California's energy efficiency gains starting form landmark 1978 legislation, are estimated to have saved businesses and residents $56 billion. The state's energy efficiency gains were present in 1990 at the end of the defense spending boom, in 1995 after a long recession, in 2000 at the height of the dot.com boom and today. They are real and do not depend on "closed factories".

The 1978 policies by the California Energy Commission were fought as "job killers" as were the smog control device regulations from an earlier era. Both claims turned oot to be false. One of the positive impacts of AB 32 is spurring another round of cost-savong efficiecny gains.

The nuclear argument is interesting but nuclear advocates are wrong in how to cast their vote. FYI, I, like Paul Losch, am open to esploring nuclear power options as part of our energy future.

The Governor favors AB 32, urges a NO vote on Prop 23 and advocates for considering nuclear power. Nuclear power is regularly listed as a renewable energy option although many people would disagree.

New nuclear power plants are now banned in California so it seems to me given the politics that the best course for advocates is to leave the oil advocates behind, vote NO on Prop 23 and argue with centrist environmentalists to include a "nuclear option" in the state's renewable goals going forward.

Posted by Greg, a resident of ,
on Sep 29, 2010 at 2:19 pm


Let me cut to the chase: The CEOs of this country think California is the worst business enviroment among all the states (I have already provided the reference). You seem to think that the business enviroment will improve if we have higher cost energy, and sporadic at that (wind and solar). However, what would the CEOs think if California suddenly opened up to nuclear power, and committed to not treating it, or any other energy source in a differential manner?

My guess is that this state would boom with new economic activty, cleaner air, more golden eagles and more happy babies (OK, maybe that's a step too far!).

Of course, Stephen, you are the paid economist, so why don't you actually run your own survey of national CEOs? If they tell you that they want to spend more on boutique electricity in California, then you will be making headlines.

Posted by Reddy Kilowatt, a resident of ,
on Sep 29, 2010 at 6:14 pm

>>> The Governor favors AB 32, urges a NO vote on Prop 23 and advocates for considering nuclear power.

The Governor has never made a thing in his life, he has been an element in someone else's vision of a work product. As a body builder and an actor he was use by others to make a final work product. He simply is unqualified to comment on manufacturing or what it takes to make products. I would be most happy to show him the work station in front of a 3 phase 40 taper HAAS VMC and let him find the product in a block of 4130. And unless and until he demonstrates he has any experience in manufacturing I will choose to listen to my peers and others knowledgeable in the matter at hand.

From what I have read over the over the years Stephen Levy is also throughly unknowledgeable in the matter of manufacturing. So let me be blunt if I paid Texas State taxes and Texas State power bills I could hire 3 more personnel. The truth is AB32 will increase my PGE power bill thus adding to by overhead and making me less competitive.

Just imagine if I take my multi-million dollar business and move to Texas how many jobs will leave California? More thanjust me and my staff. All the support services I use will leave as well.

>>> Nuclear power is regularly listed as a renewable energy option although many people would disagree.

Those who are propagandized by the unknowledgeable are lead to this belief.

Nuclear power is the most renewable and the best alternative energy source. Additionally the country's 104 reactors have the best safety record of any industry.

Coal on the other hand is not good. Thorium and other radioactive species in coal ash are not being treated as radioactive waste. Yet this stuff is spewed into the air we breathe. Radioactive Elements in Coal and Fly Ash, USGS Factsheet 163-97 Web Link

Posted by Polly Wanacracker, a resident of ,
on Sep 29, 2010 at 6:37 pm

"Have at it, Polly..."

I'd like to, but the arguments for nuclear power always get weaker, shriller, and often degenerate to ad hominem attacks as their proponents come under more pressure. That's not much to work with. If you are representative of Prop 23's opponents, then I am solidly for it.

But I will make a deal with you. Since our votes cancel, I will pledge not to vote on the issue if you and 11 others on your side will do likewise.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of ,
on Sep 30, 2010 at 11:23 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

I suppose my argument sounds weak and shrill when compared to the those arguments untouched by logic, but hey, a man uses what he has, in my case a half century of engineering analysis. Petr Beckman's "The Health Hazards of Not Going Nuclear" has withstood the test of time, confuting the arguments that have seen Carter's ban on recycling to stop the spread of nuclear weaponry [we all know how successful that has been] to the decision to abandon the waste repository because of the possibility that some radioactive particles might, in 10,000 years, reach the LA water supply. The fact that any such seepage radiation would be of such low concentration as to be undetectable against the natural background radiation.
We have a man running for governor who California's ban on new nuclear plants "Until acceptable means of storing the wastes" are found, then allowing judges to rule that 10,000 years of safety are not enough, a million is the least acceptable.

Posted by Polly Wanacracker, a resident of ,
on Sep 30, 2010 at 4:56 pm

"I suppose my argument sounds weak and shrill when compared to the those arguments untouched by logic"

No, I think they are somewhat stronger and more confidently presented than that other guy's argument. At least, right now they are. But tell me, as an engineer, don't you find Beckmann's conditional rejection of Maxwell's equations somewhat disturbing?

Posted by stephen levy, a resident of ,
on Oct 1, 2010 at 5:00 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

The main issue that the YES on 23 campaign raises is that AB 32 is a "job killer". The campaign and others have decided to fight back agreeing with the Governor and most of the Silicon Valley venture capital community that Prop 23 is a job killer.

Web Link

So this is the battle of sound bites.

The argument that the YES on 23 campaign wildly exaggerates in an effort to scare people is that parts of AB 32 will temporarily raise some energy prices and that could have a negative economic impact.

The reasoning is accurate but the actual numbers are tiny and likely to be far off in the future if at all. And the potential loss of clean energy jobs is just as likely and could be far larger.

All of the credible economic analyses of AB 32 find that gross economic impacts are tiny (plus or minus) in relation to the size of the CA economy, not counting health or environmental benefits of clean energy jobs.

More later.

Posted by Greg, a resident of ,
on Oct 1, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Web Link

If you want to argue sound bites, well this is one from the SJ Mercury (to counter Tom, quaking-at-the-knees, Friedman).

The much more important issue is to how to get beyond the sound bites.

Nuclear energy acts to help solve all the major issues. Why are we shackling ourselves with boutique energy, when we could have nearly limitless cheap and clean energy? Makes no sense.

Vote YES on Prop 23. Don't be distracted.

Posted by Its The Economics Stpd, a resident of ,
on Oct 3, 2010 at 2:09 pm

For a blog about economics, no one here, especially Mr. Levy, seems to have read, let alone understood Bastiat's Broken Window Fallacy.

Higher taxes can never create more jobs than are destroyed by the resulting diminishment of investment capital elsewhere in the economy.

You can perform as many mental gymnastics as you want, but the fact of the matter is that AB32 forces spending in an area where private investment has not identified a growth opportunity. That alone would mean for every job created there would be at least one job lost, but given government subsidies, even more money will be lost due to inefficiency, overpaid bureaucrats, corruption and fraud.

There has never been a government in the history of the world that has taxed and regulated it's way to prosperity. Spain gives the most recent example of what happens when a government tries to command a green economy. Web Link

Posted by compelling, if true, a resident of ,
on Oct 3, 2010 at 7:56 pm

I see your logic.

"There has never been a government in the history of the world that has taxed and regulated it's way to prosperity."

Is this really true? If so it's a very strong fact from my point of view. Can you point me to documentation of this - say, 30 governments that have tried to tax and regulate and did not improve their economy by doing so? Didn't Greece and Rome both do this? Examples of a few governments that have gained prosperity as a clear result of lowered taxes would add to the strength of the argument.

Posted by stephen levy, a resident of ,
on Oct 8, 2010 at 12:59 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

More companies come out against Prop 23

Levi Strauss, Target, eBay, Nike, Starbucks, Symantec, Gap and others along with the state's major utilities.

Web Link

Posted by p got sp, a resident of ,
on Oct 8, 2010 at 1:08 pm


but texas oil companies and pge represent you?

how about chamber of commerce running ads paid for by Bahrain petroleum company?

why do you hate a clean California ?

Posted by Reddy Kilowatt, a resident of ,
on Oct 8, 2010 at 1:41 pm

>>>>> why do you hate a clean California ?

say what? hate? Hate is something trapped in your own twisted mind.

What I oppose is CARB a non-elected body of cheats, stealing money from all Californians. But more important I have a natural dislike for liars. These are same liars that put MTBE in gas that, whoops, got into the water. How much debt the California rack up for MTBE clean-up?

SEE HERE: Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, offered no explanation when The Chronicle questioned her about the diesel emissions miscalculation. She was recently asked why the air board estimate of a nitrous oxide source was off by at least a factor of two - air board scientists have since revised their numbers, and data show the estimate was off by 340 percent. Nichols' response: "I can't answer that for you." Web Link


VOTE YES on Prop 23.

Posted by p got sp, a resident of ,
on Oct 8, 2010 at 1:51 pm



you like foregn oil companies buying ads for chamber of commerce Bahrain petroleum

for texas oil companies to buy election

i rather californians appointed by elected officials make decision

not bahrain or texas billionares

who trapped in twisted mind?


Posted by Reddy Kilowatt, a resident of ,
on Oct 8, 2010 at 2:14 pm

What I like are these little words.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Texas Oil or Sierra Club, Hugo Chávez or Saudi Oil the above covers them all. If you don't like it move to Thailand and speak out about the king, I won't miss you.

As for CARB you need to look into the art of political conflict of Interest. The practice of California political officials of filling government positions with employees of his or her own choosing to benefit there political standing. Happens all the time in Sacramento.

Why do you think Whitman is spending 100+ million for a 200k job?


VOTE YES on Prop 23.

Posted by p got sp, a resident of ,
on Oct 8, 2010 at 2:21 pm

"or the right of the people"

thank you

bahrain petroleum not american people

is texas oil company a people?

do it die? have kid get sick? is it a kid and get asthma?

or just make your kid sick from pollution?

you forgot promote general welfare of people

Posted by stephen levy, a resident of ,
on Oct 8, 2010 at 3:16 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

If you don't like government to make any rules or regulations, you will probably not like AB 32.

But then you are probably against food safety or drug standards, air quality rules, consumer safety protections, zoning regulations and the like.

I think government has a legitimate and useful role in correcting situations where the private market incentives are not sufficient to guide companies to take account of the impact of their actions on the broader society. It is not that companies are evil. It is true though that companies acting rationally will not see the incentive, in this case, to have the optimal level of emissions or air quality.

Public regulatory powers are broadly accepted in America's free market economy as the best way to combine private enterprise with making sure the public good in terms of health, safety and fairness are taken into account in private decision making.

The majority of people who serve on air quality boards like ARB are themselves elected officials or are appointed by elected officials. They make decisions without being directly elected in the same way that federal or state agencies make decisions by people who are appointed.

Besides the potential for fostering job growth related to newe clean energy goods and services and besides saving money for businesses and consumers through inducing energy efficiencies, air quality regulations in California make the state a place that people can live and work in. Air quality regulations are a strong pro-business climate policy in the state.

I grew up in Los Angeles in the days when there were frequent smog alerts. The air quality management district adotped regulations that were regularly fought as job killers.

Yet without these regulatiobs the air would have remained so bad that there would be little incentive to locate in the region.

I don't find all regulations good automatically but I find AB 32 to be a good set of regulations and incentives for all the reasons stated in my original post.

The broad support from California businesses suggests that they are not weded to an anti-government ideology or sound bite mentality.

Join me in voting no on Prop 23.

Posted by Reddy Kilowatt, a resident of ,
on Oct 8, 2010 at 4:16 pm

>>>> If you don't like government to make any rules or regulations, you will probably not like AB 32.

More wide open full throttle nonsense.
What I don't like is the government to make any rules or regulations, base upon lies and false science.

Web Link

A smart move: Mary could cancel all regulations bases on this "error" and go with the facts.


VOTE YES on Prop 23.

Posted by p got sp, a resident of ,
on Oct 8, 2010 at 4:20 pm


these folk appointed by elected officials

wassa matta?

you no vote like meg and carly?

maybe you go to kentucky and vote libertarian

remove all stop signs


Posted by stephen levy, a resident of ,
on Oct 13, 2010 at 12:43 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

I know the NO on Prop 23 campaign is making a big deal about the fact that "Texas oil companies" are funding the yes campaign.

It is true and I guess it resonates with voters but it is not an argument that I use for voting NO.

About a week ago I saw an article about the Marines using solar power in Afghanistan.

Here is one quote from the longer article

?There are a lot of profound reasons for doing this, but for us at the core it?s practical,? said Ray Mabus, the Navy secretary and a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, who has said he wants 50 percent of the power for the Navy and Marines to come from renewable energy sources by 2020. That figure includes energy for bases as well as fuel for cars and ships.

?Fossil fuel is the No. 1 thing we import to Afghanistan,? Mr. Mabus said, ?and guarding that fuel is keeping the troops from doing what they were sent there to do, to fight or engage local people.?

As I argue above national security and foreign policy considerations support the rapid movement toward alternative energy sources.

The full article is here

Web Link

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