Seemingly "green" state ballot propositions

The language of propositions can be quite manipulative. I often think I’m voting yes when no is what I wanted, and visa versa. Below is a trust-able source – the Union for Concerned Scientists (, to help you choose well at the polls on Tuesday.

When you go to the polls this Tuesday, November 4, you will face a pair of seemingly “green” state ballot propositions.

As you may remember from our earlier e-mails, a closer look at both initiatives reveals fundamental flaws that make each initiative harmful, not helpful. Based on our thorough analysis of each proposition, the Union of Concerned Scientists urges you to vote:

NO on Proposition 7, which is loophole-ridden and so poorly drafted that it could actually hinder the development of new clean, renewable energy sources in California, like solar and wind power, and
NO on Proposition 10, which would throw nearly ten billion taxpayer dollars into a program promoting natural gas and other transportation fuels that could achieve little or no reductions in smog or global warming pollution.

On a more positive note, we encourage you to support a pair of helpful ballot propositions by voting:

YES on Proposition 1A, which is a bond measure to begin construction on a California high-speed train system. Once built, the train system is expected not only to ease growing automobile and plane traffic, but most importantly, to reduce emissions of global warming pollution and save energy overall.
YES on Proposition 2, which will ban some of the worst practices of polluting CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations), and is an important step in promoting a modern approach to agriculture that is productive, humane, and more healthful.

Read more on all four ballot propositions below and don’t forget to vote on Tuesday, November 4. Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. If you have a vote-by-mail ballot and haven’t already mailed it in, you can drop off your completed ballot at your polling location on election day. Thanks for your support.


Chris Carney
California Outreach Organizer
Union of Concerned Scientists


More Information about California’s Ballot Propositions

NO on Proposition 7
Shifting our country’s reliance from fossil fueled electricity to clean and renewable sources is one of the most effective ways to reduce global warming pollution. Combating global warming is the most significant challenge of our time. That is why it is so important to get the solutions right. Unfortunately, Proposition 7 gets it wrong, creates more uncertainty, and would likely set back our efforts to transition to a clean energy future.
Based on the experience of UCS experts on the design and implementation of renewable electricity standards in California and across the country, we are convinced that the serious flaws of Proposition 7—such as creating new compliance loopholes for utilities, setting counter-productive policies on energy pricing, and discouraging smaller-scale renewable projects-would prevent California from achieving our state’s clean energy goals. Worse still, if Prop 7 passes, fixing the initiative’s serious mistakes would require another new ballot measure or a two-thirds super-majority vote in the state legislature.
UCS strongly supports effective policies to increase renewable energy in California and is actively working towards increasing the state’s renewable standards in ways that will help, not hinder new renewable energy development in the state.
Read our detailed Prop 7 fact sheet online.
NO on Proposition 10
Because of its flaws and weaknesses, Proposition 10, would be a poor use of public bond funds at a time when the state is facing a multi-billion dollar budget crisis. Prop 10 would cost the state about $10 billion over 30 years to pay off both the principal ($5 billion) and interest ($5 billion). UCS is dedicated to finding and promoting cost-effective alternatives to petroleum fuels that will reduce the pollution that causes global warming, but Prop 10 is neither a smart nor a cost-effective solution. Three quarters of the $5 billion in bond funding in Prop 10 would be dedicated to incentives with flawed or inadequate environmental criteria. Prop 10’s rebates give natural gas an unfair advantage over other alternatives, while excluding or providing inadequate support for vehicle technologies that could provide much greater environmental benefits than natural gas in the long run, such as hybrid heavy duty trucks or plug-in hybrid electric passenger vehicles.
California has better and more cost-effective regulatory and legislative policy options available to reduce air pollution and global warming emissions from passenger and heavy duty vehicles. UCS urges Californians to reject Prop 10.
Read our detailed Prop 10 fact sheet online.
YES on Proposition 1A
This $9.95 billion bond measure will fund construction of a high-speed rail system in California which will eventually cost $40 billion when fully built out. The High Speed Rail Authority expects additional funds to come from federal and private sources. While we do acknowledge that the cost of the high speed rail is significant compared to other climate change solutions, UCS considers high speed electric trains crucial to solving our long term transportation problems and reducing the pollution that causes global warming. If ridership expectations are met, this high-speed train system would help reduce traffic demand along certain corridors, decrease the number of air flights, and help reduce harmful global warming pollution. Prop 1A has broad support among the environmental community. More information can be found here.
YES on Proposition 2
Many CAFOs (confined animal feed operations) use crates and cages to crowd too many animals into too small an area. Raising animals in these unnatural and unhealthy environments pollutes water and air, lowers property values in neighboring rural communities, and fosters excessive overuse of antibiotics leading to harder-to- treat human diseases. Passing California’s Prop 2 is one important step in promoting a modern approach to agriculture that is productive, humane, and more healthful.
Read our new issue briefing: “The Hidden Costs of CAFOs” (PDF file size of 1600 KB)


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