Watershed Energy Legislation (Pickens Plan)
09-27-2008, 02:55 AM
Join Date: Oct 12 2004
Rep Power: 432452
Watershed Energy Legislation (Pickens Plan)
sofc mandates clean fuel (fuel cell requirement)
California Proposition 7 (2008)
1 Provisions in the initiative
California Proposition 7
, would, if approved, require California utilities to procure half of their power from renewable resources by 2025. In order to make that goal, levels of production of solar, wind and other renewable energy resources will more than quadruple from their current output of 10.9%. 
It will also require California utilities to increase their purchase of electricity generated from renewable resources by 2% annually to meet Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) 
requirements of 40% in 2020 and 50% in 2025. Current law AB32 requires an RPS of 20% by 2010.
The 42 page measure is an initiated state statute
that has qualified for the November 2008
ballot in California
Perhaps to distinguish it from Proposition 10
, which also is about alternative fuels, some California pundits are starting to refer to Prop. 7 as Big Solar
and Prop. 10 as Big Wind
Provisions in the initiative
Estimated fiscal impact
- All electric utilities (including municipally-owned utilities) will be required to provide half of their electricity from solar and clean energy facilities by 2025. Current law requires the state’s investor-owned utilities (Edison and PG&E, for example) to reach 20 percent renewable energy by 2010.
- The California Energy Commission will be required to identify solar and clean energy zones, primarily in the desert, to jump-start clean power plants.
- Renewable plant construction permits would be fast-tracked for approval by the California Energy Commission once all environmental reviews are in place. Fast-tracking would limit the period for local comments and participation to 100 days.
- Penalties levied on utilities for specific acts of non-compliance would be reduced from 5% to 1%, but the total cap on fines that can be imposed on a utility would be eliminated.
- The California Energy Commission (CEC) will have the authority and responsibility to allocate funds from these penalties into the construction and implementation of new and existing transmission lines to provide access for renewable energy to the grid.
- Utilities will be prohibited from passing along penalties to their electric rate-payers.
- Caps price impacts on consumer's electricity bills at less than 3 percent. However, the non-partisan California Legislative Analyst's Office states that “the measure includes no specific provisions to implement or enforce this declaration”.
- Renewable energy sources include solar thermal, photovoltaic, wind, geothermal, small hydro, biomass, and tidal, etc., as provided for in current law Public Resources Code section 25741.
- Utilities entering into contracts with alternative fuel providers will be required to sign 20-year contracts.
The California Legislative Analyst's Office, the nonpartisan state agency charged with providing a neutral estimate about the fiscal impact on the state of ballot initiatives and state legislative bills, has arrived at the following summary of Prop. 7's estimated costs:
- Increased state administrative costs of up to $3.4 million annually for the regulatory activities of the California Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission, paid for by fee revenues.
- Unknown impact on state and local government costs and revenues due to the measure’s uncertain impact on retail electricity rates. In the short term, the prospects for higher rates - and therefore higher costs, lower sales and income tax revenues, and higher local utility tax revenues - are more likely. In the long term, the impact on electricity rates, and therefore state and local government costs and revenues, is unknown.
The official committee supporting Prop 7 is called Californians for Solar and Clean Energy.
Proposition 7 is supported by Nobel Laureates Alan J. Heeger
, Herbert Kroemer
, and Walter Kohn
. The measure also has the support of renewable energy expert and pioneer Dr. Donald Aitken
. S. David Freeman
, who was the energy policy advisor to presidents Kennedy and Johnson, helped solve the 2001 energy crisis in California
, and who ran some of the largest utility companies in the country, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power recently came out as a vocal supporter of Proposition 7.
The coalition to support Proposition 7 also includes the Community Environmental Council
of Santa Barbara; Alicia Wang, Vice-Chair of the California Democratic Party; Christine Pelosi, former Executive Director of the Democratic Party; Senator Marta Escutia
, former chair of the State Senate Energy Committee; the Monterey County Progressive Democrats of America; State Senator John L. Burton; James Gollin, former chair of the State Senate Energy Committee; and Dolores Huerta
, co-founder of the United Farm Workers Union.
, founding partner of the political consulting firm Jim Gonzalez & Associates in Sacramento, is the initiative's chief spokesperson. In the 1980s, he was a chief aide to then San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein, who appointed Gonzalez to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Gonzalez was elected to the position in 1988 and served until 1992. When Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and Sempra put $23.7 million into a committee to defeat Proposition 7, Gonzales stated that "This is a declaration of war,"
noting that “The utility companies can run but they can't hide ... They can't hide behind environmental groups and they can't hide behind political parties whose conventions they sponsor."
The primary financial backer of the initiative is Peter Sperling
, a philanthropist who, with his wife, gave $5 million dollars to save the Ellwood Mesa Coast
wetlands in Santa Barbara County.
For the full list of supporters, see: List of Proposition 7 supporters
Arguments made in favor of Prop. 7
Those in favor of Prop. 7 say that it:
Donors who support Prop. 7
- Would make California the world leader in clean power technology.
- Would help create over 370,000 new high wage jobs.
- Meets environmental protection standards as outlined in the Warren-Alquist Act and Desert Protection Act.
- Provides for local government review.
- Will have no negative impact on small-scale renewables and will very likely benefit small-scale renewables
- Does not limit projects to those over 30 megawatts, as many opponents have claimed
- Provides a "feed-in tariff" for any size project, under which utilities must buy power offered by renewable energy companies that is cost-effective
- Strengthens penalties for utility non-compliance by eliminating the current cap on penalties imposed by the Public Utilities Commission
As of September 18, two donors have contributed $5,000 or more to support Prop. 7. They are: Opponents
The formal group opposing Prop. 7 is called Californians Against Another Costly Energy Scheme
. The coalition includes the California Democratic Party, the California Republican Party, the California Labor Federation, the California Taxpayers' Association, the League of California Cities
and the California Solar Energy Industries Association. A separate and independent coalition of environmental organizations has been formed, including the Sierra Club of California, the California League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies.
See also: List of Proposition 7 opponents
Arguments made against Prop. 7
Arguments that have been made against Proposition 7 include:
Donors who oppose Prop. 7
- It could "slam the brakes on renewable energy development in the state."
- The measure is "poorly written and so complicated that it could hurt the cause of renewable energy in the state."
- Ralph Cavanagh of the Natural Resources Defense Council told the Los Angeles Times that the "initiative was put together by people who didn't know what they were doing." As a result, he says, it "opens the way for many unintended consequences".
- V. John White, Director, Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies told the Los Angeles Times that “the initiative locks all the dysfunctional complexity into place and would require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to change it."
- "It freezes up transmission, because it's not clear who has the authority to site what,” said Jan Smutny-Jones, Executive Director, Independent Energy Producers Association in Greenwire. “It would automatically lead us to litigation."
As of August 2, three donors are listed as having given $5,000 or more to defeat this initiative.
- PG&E, $12,895,250
- Edison, $10,720,250
- Sempra, $104,000
The opposition coalition as of July 14, 2008 had paid about $175,000 to the campaign consulting firm of Townsend, Raimundo, Besler & Usher.
A poll released on July 22, 2008 by Field Poll
showed Proposition 7 with 63% support and 24% opposition. 82% of those surveyed had no initial awareness of Proposition 7. 
Month of Poll In Favor Opposed Undecided July 2008 63 percent 24 percent 13 percent Newspaper endorsements
Opposed to 7
Path to the ballot
- The Imperial Valley Press on July 10 said "Proposition 7 is silly, and bad for the ratepayer."
- The Riverside Press-Enterprise on September 11 said, "Blind gambling on energy policy is foolish. Voters should reject Prop. 7."
- The San Diego Union-Tribune on September 12 in an editorial headlined, "No on Props 7 and 10, Energy measures are ill-conceived fiascoes" said, "No wonder the initiative is not supported by any significant organization. No wonder its opponents include the League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Environmental Defense Fund, the California Taxpayers Association, the Consumers Coalition of California and both the Democratic and Republican parties."
- The San Jose Mercury News on September 13 said, "No is the green vote on Proposition 7".
- The Santa Cruz Sentinel on September 18 said that the initiative “… sound[s] appealing, but fall[s] short when it comes to details. [Prop. 7] should be rejected by voters.”
- The Los Angeles Times on September 19 said, “Voters… can do right by the environment by checking the "no" box on Proposition 7.”
- The Santa Rosa Press Democrat on September 25 said “The state doesn't need to shackle its economy and put successful renewable energy programs at risk by approving this poorly crafted ballot measure. The Press Democrat encourages voters to say no to Proposition 7.” 
The petition drive to qualify the measure for the ballot was conducted by Progressive Campaigns, Inc.
at a cost of $1.367 million.
Lawsuits over ballot language
Supporters and opponents of Proposition 7 filed lawsuits in Sacramento Superior Court regarding the wording of ballot arguments that voters will see in the official voter's guide. 
The lawsuit filed by proponents of Prop. 7 claimed that the opposition’s ballot arguments contained “false or misleading statements” that should be deleted. However, Sacramento Superior County Judge Michael Kenny found that the proponents had not met the high standard of clear and convincing evidence that the opponents language was false and misleading for purposes of the expedited hearing. Thus, the petition was denied.
The lawsuit filed by opponents of Prop. 7 argued that Proposition 7 would have "serious, negative unintended consequences" that are not adequately captured in the voter's guide. They specifically wanted the removal of three statements in the voter's guide by proponents that:
- Prop 7 will help create over 370,000 new prevailing wage jobs
- Prop 7 prohibits the utilities from passing on their penalty costs to consumers if they fail to meet renewable energy standards
- Prop 7 is guaranteed to never add more than 3% per year to consumer electricity bills.
The opponent's petition was denied in its entirety.
Speaking for opponents, Sue Kateley, Executive Director of the California Solar Energy Industries Association approved of the court's decision to deny the proponents petition.
Speaking for proponents, Jim Gonzalez, of Jim Gonzalez & Associates, said, “We applaud the Court’s decision upholding the Yes on 7 ballot arguments without any changes. This will make clear that Prop. 7 is about fighting global warming and achieving energy independence. The Court’s decision clarifies the real choices for solar and clean energy facing California voters on November 4th.”
- <LI id=cite_note-0>↑ California Distributed Energy Resources Guide <LI id=cite_note-1>↑ Renewable Portfolio Standard <LI id=cite_note-poised-2>↑ Sacramento Bee: "Renewable power initiative poised for ballot, draws fire, April 8, 2008 <LI id=cite_note-bigsolar-3>↑ 4.0 4.1 Sacramento News & Review, "California ballot: Betting on Big Solar", July 3, 2008 <LI id=cite_note-4>↑  "Utilities Push Back Big Against Prop. 7," Sacramento Bee, July 23, 2008 <LI id=cite_note-5>↑ Donors to Prop. 7 <LI id=cite_note-6>↑ Los Angeles Times, "Opponents say California power initiative is ill-advised", April 8, 2008 <LI id=cite_note-surprise-7>↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 San Francisco Chroncicle, "Surprise opponents to renewable energy measure", July 5, 2008 <LI id=cite_note-8>↑ “RENEWABLE ENERGY: Utilities earmark big bucks to stop Calif. ballot measure,” Greenwire, June 19, 2008 <LI id=cite_note-9>↑  <LI id=cite_note-10>↑ List of large donors opposing Prop 7 <LI id=cite_note-11>↑ Money talks loudly in Prop 7 contest <LI id=cite_note-12>↑ Anti-7 expenditures <LI id=cite_note-13>↑ July 22 Field Poll results on Proposition 7 <LI id=cite_note-14>↑ "Imperial Valley Press", "Noble Trend Isn't Sound", July 10, 2008 <LI id=cite_note-15>↑ "Riverside Press-Enterprise", "No on 7", September 11, 2008 <LI id=cite_note-16>↑ "San Diego Union-Tribune", "No on Props 7 and 10: Energy measures are ill-Conceived fiascoes", September 12, 2008 <LI id=cite_note-17>↑ San Jose Mercury News, "No is the green vote on Proposition 7", September 13, 2008 <LI id=cite_note-18>↑ "Santa Cruz Sentinel", “As We See It: Vote no on 'green' measures, 7 and 10", September 18, 2008 <LI id=cite_note-19>↑ "Los Angeles Times", "No on Proposition 7: Even environmental groups see problems with this initiative to increase renewable energy", September 19, 2008 <LI id=cite_note-20>↑ "Santa Rosa Press Democrat", "No on Prop. 7", September 25, 2008 <LI id=cite_note-21>↑ Campaign expenditure details <LI id=cite_note-22>↑ Ballot language battle could be key for Prop. 7, August 6, 2008
- ↑ "Prop 7 Court ruling Press Release", August 7,2008
- It ain't easy legislating green, Wall Street Journal, April 9, 2008
- California voters may toughen renewal targets, Reuters, April 8, 2008
- Energy Department Says Wind Energy Could Be Savior, San Francisco Chronicle, May 13, 2008
- Geothermal Markets are heating up Energy Current May 5, 2008
- Energy bill a step back for clean power, opponents say
- Prop 7 pits opponents
- 2 energy propositions flawed, critics say, San Francisco Chronicle.
- Political winds buffet California measures on energy, Sacramento Bee, September 15, 2008.
Last edited by 1st_rate_mate; 09-27-2008 at 03:00 AM.
09-27-2008, 11:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 28 2008
Rep Power: 21485395
Go to: www.pickensplan.com
In a nutsdhell, T. Boone Pickens, an oil man, is describing the need to move away from dependence on foreign oil by developing renewable sources here in America and focusing on using natural gas in our cars.
quote regarding WIND POWER
: "A 2005 Stanford University study
found that there is enough wind power worldwide to satisfy global demand 7 times over — even if only 20% of wind power could be captured.
Building wind facilities in the corridor that stretches from the Texas panhandle to North Dakota could produce 20% of the electricity for the United States at a cost of $1 trillion. It would take another $200 billion to build the capacity to transmit that energy to cities and towns.
That's a lot of money, but it's a one-time cost. And compared to the $700 billion we spend on foreign oil every year, it's a bargain."
Enclosed is a graphic showing wind speed over land.
quote on NATURAL GAS
: "Natural gas is our country's second largest energy resource and a vital component of our energy supply. 98% of the natural gas used in the United States is from North America. But 70% of our oil is purchased from foreign nations.
Natural gas is one of the cleanest, safest and most useful forms of energy — residentially, commercially and industrially. The natural gas industry has existed in the United States for over 100 years and continues to grow.
Domestic natural gas reserves are twice that of petroleum. And new discoveries of natural gas and ongoing development of renewable biogas are continually adding to existing reserves.
While it is a cheap, effective and versatile fuel, less than 1% of natural gas is currently used for transportation."
Pickens has a good perspective here, I believe.
09-27-2008, 12:40 PM
Join Date: Jun 12 2007
Rep Power: 22117
There are so many people in this area already... Anyone remember ENRON? This is waht they banked on this idea 15yrs ago.
Look up www.dkrwenergy.com
they have about the best deal going on the wind projects that I know of.
09-29-2008, 01:45 PM
Join Date: Oct 12 2004
Rep Power: 432452
Current contracts for wind deployment are running about $1 million per gross megawatt. Spacing is 3-5 acres. Much of the cost relates to site development as most productive sites tend to be in natural uplifts along ridge lines OR offshore.
What is also important to understand is that current federal subsidies are $.025 per generated kilowatt for 10 years + double declining depreciation of 5 year class property. Tax benefits alone are nearly enough to amortize the embedded capital cost (which is why there is so much interest).
The hidden cost of course is extending heavy power transmission grid to remote isolated areas. State of Texas has set aside $10 billion (of which half is committed to Pickens project) for such purposes (WE THE PEOPLE)
One must understand that a 5 mg turbine is about the size of the Statue of Liberty. As a a current generation nuclear plant runs 1 gigawatt yeild it takes between 400-600 wind turbines to replace one (25%-50% efficiency).
This is why SEN TED KENNEDY is on record as opposing CAPE WIND (http://www.capewind.org
) project as it would "impact the area's where he sails". Certain private property owners near Martha's Vineyard stand solidly against for fear of impact. (Imagine having 200 statues of liberty on 3 acre spacing just inside of federal waters).
Picken's idea is to offset as much as 40% of US transportation fuels by substituting gasoline with natural gas (which has been done for decades on a limited basis as CNG). This can be accomplished by replacing natural gas fired electric generating plants with wind power.
What is not well understood is that the future of fuel cell technology may well rest with the distribution impacts of large scale transport natural gas fuel infrastucture as REFORMATION to the pump is required to make these 85% efficient heat engines function (2X+ efficiency of IC engines). Seems impurities such as sulfur clog high-temp SOFC; SOFEC's.
Hopefully many are aware of GM's Volt project given that 78% of US commute traffic travels <40 miles per day (as well as the $25 billion loan appropriated by Congress to bail out GM; Ford and Chrysler).
In order to convert from gasoline to electric USA will need substantial generating capacity increases. of course it would help if we were simply made of money.
Last edited by 1st_rate_mate; 09-29-2008 at 01:59 PM.
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