Prop. 16: Will it 'stifle' democratic process or let 'voters decide' public electricity proposals?

Debates continue on June 8 ballot measure that would require 2/3rds majority vote on local issue

Arguments continued this week before the California Public Utilities Commission hearings on an initiative that would require local governments to obtain the approval of two-thirds of voters before providing a public electricity service program.

Proposition 16, which is on the ballot in the June 8 statewide election, is supported by PG&E, which sent senior vice president Nancy McFadden to the CPUC hearing in San Francisco.

McFadden said the company is backing the initiative because it "simply stands for the principle that voters should decide," rather than city councils or boards of supervisors, whether to opt out of PG&E and other investor-owned utilities and establish local public electricity programs.

However, opponents of the initiative said it would have the opposite effect, stifling the democratic process rather than making it more transparent.

San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, who spoke at the meeting as well as at a rally held beforehand by opponents of Proposition 16, said PG&E is "not just trying to go around democracy, but trying to take democracy on and then subvert it."

No action was taken by the commission and the CPUC has yet to officially endorse or oppose the initiative. But commission President Michael Peevey, one of three commissioners at the meeting, said he agreed with one of the opinions of the Proposition 16 opponents.

"Philosophically, I have a problem with a two-thirds vote in any capacity," Peevey said. "That means 33 percent plus one is the effective majority."

The initiative will need just majority approval in the June 8 election to go into law.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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Like this comment
Posted by S. Berger
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Mar 29, 2010 at 8:29 am

Another "grab" by PG&E to protect "their turf" and stifle any competition that would bring lower cost service to the public. Their opposition is not at all about the "democratic process". It is about MONEY.

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Mar 29, 2010 at 9:53 am

i agree...

Like this comment
Posted by She's right
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Looks like Cholo is right on this one!

This is as sneaky as the "Smart" Meter, maybe sneakier!

They just came by and changed ours, without any warning, without telling us that they'd cut our power, mess up our clocks etc.
Evidently they were in a big hurry,(maybe to get it done before people figured out what they were up to?) and rather then just let their staff do it over time, when they was no emergency, they sub'ed it out to some other co.

Like this comment
Posted by Replace them
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Thankfully, I stopped the guy at the door, before he starting the installation. PG&E is spending one of the largest sums ever on an prevent us from choosing another company IF THEY AREN"T PERFORMING FOR US !! They are making so making bad decisions. Lack of adequate nuclear power and these incredibly convoluted 'smart meters' of the dumbest ideas in a generation. They are not providing us the most abumdante, not the cheapest, not the cleanest..they are pretty much failing on every front. THAT's why they are worried we would want to replace them.
They just announced that for a SHORT TIME they are going to do a bit of a rate people will stop looking into their mistakes and crimes against us....forget about them maybe. Sort of postpone their assult on us, then back to their old tricks.

Like this comment
Posted by TheRestOfTheStory
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 3, 2010 at 5:20 pm

While the 2/3 vote seems excessive (50% seems reasonable to me), I believe that the initiative will protect citizens from any scheme by their local governments to construct a government transmission system. If the local citizens want this, that should be their right. But their "elected officials" should not have that right. (Of course not government is going to create its own electrical power plant because of all the government restrictions and red tape.)

Like this comment
Posted by TheRestOfTheStory
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 3, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Regarding the SmartMeter conversion, much as I don't like the idea of these devices, we were notified of the installation. I simply taped a note on my meter to please contact me before shutting things down. They skipped our house on the neighborhood installation, then came back later and gave me time to shut down sensitive electronics before the interruption.

We are being gifted with these SmartMeters because the electorate has chosen representatives who have fought every attempt to create new power sources or distribution facilities within the state. Therefore we will get what the liberals always wanted, rationing via higher cost for power when you need it most, during the day when the temperatures are high.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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