News

Palo Alto leads charge against Proposition 23

Local officials, donations battle effort to suspend California's 2006 greenhouse-gas law

The Palo Alto office of the "No on Proposition 23" campaign is conveniently located a few blocks from a Valero gas station.

Every now and then, campaign workers and volunteers, armed with megaphones and placards, show up at the gas station to protest Texas' sudden interest in California's unemployment rate and environmental laws.

Spencer Olson, a field organizer at the El Camino Real office, said the Valero station on El Camino Real, in Palo Alto's Ventura neighborhood, is one of several that the campaign targets for its protests. Inside his office stands a 5-foot model of an oil rig with a sign, "Stop Texas Oil. No on 23."

Proposition 23, which gets the bulk of its financial support from oil companies Valero and Tesoro, is striking a particular chord in Palo Alto, where elected leaders routinely flaunt the city's eco-friendly initiatives and where "green" continues to be the leading buzzword for venture capitalists and high-tech innovators.

Olson said his campaign has about 3,000 volunteers statewide, roughly 400 of whom are from Palo Alto. This includes members of the local nonprofit Acterra who have been manning phones and hosting parties to raise awareness of and opposition to Proposition 23, he said.

Proposition 23 would suspend the California Global Warming Solutions Act (Assembly Bill 32), which regulates California's greenhouse-gas emissions and requires the state to reduce these emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

Supporters of Proposition 23 claim the bill would be a job killer and call their campaign the "California Jobs Initiative." The proposition would suspend the act until the state's unemployment rate which currently hovers around 12 percent is at or below 5.5 percent for four consecutive quarters.

In recent months, Palo Alto has become ground zero for Proposition 23 opposition. The City Council passed a resolution last month opposing it, while local venture capitalists and executives have poured millions into the "No on 23" campaign chest.

Olson said he hasn't encountered many voters in Palo Alto who favor Proposition 23. So although the campaign's mission initially focused on swaying voters, its main goal now is to make sure they vote on Nov. 2. The campaign also draws on local volunteers to call residents in other cities, where the opinions about the proposition are more varied.

"Our mission is to hit the base and make sure they turn out," Olson said.

Olson's campaign, which is funded by the San Francisco-based communication company CREDO Mobile, is one of about a dozen statewide efforts fighting Proposition 23. Others are spearheaded by environmental groups (Sierra Club), technologists (Green Technology Leadership Group) or both (Californians for Clean Air and Clean Energy Jobs).

The efforts appear to be paying off. A recent poll by the Public Policy Institute of California found that support for Proposition 23 has dipped in the past month, with 48 percent of the voters saying they will vote no on the proposition and 37 percent saying they'd vote yes. A month ago, the two sides were in a dead heat.

Among Democrats, opposition to Proposition 23 has climbed from 48 in September to 53 percent in October, the poll shows. In Palo Alto, the gap between opponents and supporters appears to be much wider. The council's resolution against the proposition passed unanimously and with no debate. Dozens of local residents have mailed in checks to combat Proposition 23, while not a single Palo Alto donor is listed in the "Yes on 23" campaign finance reports.

Though opponents make much of the fact that Proposition 23 gets major funding from Texas billionaires in the oil industry, the opposition actually has a sizeable edge in money raised. Campaign records show that the groups had collectively raised more than $31.5 million so far this year to fight Proposition 23 and had more than $10 million on hand for the final push. The "Yes on 23" campaign raised about $9 million and had about $2 million in reserve as of mid October.

Much of the opposition's funding came from Palo Alto and its Silicon Valley neighbors. John Doerr, whose venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is a leading investor in green start-ups, contributed $1 million to fight Proposition 23. His wife, Ann Doerr, gave another $1 million. Campaign records show that Google co-founder Sergey Brin gave $200,000 to the campaign, while Tesla Motors provided $25,000.

Wendy Schmidt, president of the Schmidt Family Foundation and board member of the Natural Resource Defense Council, contributed $500,000, while Laurene Powell Jobs, president of College Track and wife of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, contributed $250,000.

According to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office, Proposition 23 would suspend the state's comprehensive greenhouse-gas-reduction program, which includes cleaner fuel requirements, conversion to renewable energy, and mandatory emissions reporting and fee requirements for power plants and oil refineries.

The office concluded that if Proposition 23 were enacted it would discourage investment and job creation in the state's clean-energy sectors, but economic activity would likely be "modestly higher."

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 29, 2010 at 3:16 am

Way to go city council, another vote based on special interest groups, like when they endorsed the High Speed Rail in 2008! or when then approved the condo project that replaced the Rickey's Hyatt hotel with the "new urbanism" style of design.

So all those who complained for the past 4 years about the utility bills going up 10-15%/year, go ahead and vote no - it'll only make energy more expensive, and help subsidize the market for those VC investments in "green" energy.


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 29, 2010 at 5:01 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Global Warming? Don't you people read? Global Warming is three fraudulent crises ago.


Like this comment
Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 29, 2010 at 7:16 am

Yes, Wallis, and the Universe is 5000 years old, was created in 6 days, dinosaurs were house pets humans rode on and Jesus will stroll down University avenue some day.


Like this comment
Posted by Wayne
a resident of another community
on Oct 29, 2010 at 7:19 am

Prop 23 leaves California with the toughest pollution laws in the nation, and among the toughest in the world.

AB 32 does not target the pollution that causes health issues. It goes after global warming, but it can’t help global warming either.

Proposition 23 seeks to suspend AB 32 to protect Califonia’s already shrinking economy.

Texas is growing its economy at the same pace that California is shrinking its economy, and Texas has TRIPLE the wind powered electrical generation as California. Texas has no job killer global warming law.

The enforcement of AB 32 will cause an economic disaster for California that will keep other states from passing such legislation, and probably do more harm for the cause than it will help the environment.

Points to ponder on AB 32 / Prop 23:

° AB 32 is not a pollution law, it is a global warming law, but it won’t have any effect on global warming.

° CARB over-estimated diesel emmisions by 340%. What else have they over-estimated?

° Key CARB personnel caught lying about credentials and then failing to reveal this after it is discovered internally before AB 32 passed, until after AB 32 passed. What else are they lying about and with-holding?

° CARB has admitted that California alone cannot have an impact on reducing global warming and CO2 emissions, and that it will hurth the economy and cost jobs.

° US EPA acknowledges that US action alone will not impact the world CO2 levels;

° US EPA (11 July 2010) said that bills in Congress will not reduce the total use of gas and oil of 20 million gallons per day for decades.

° LAO (CA Legislative Analyst Office) stated: CA economy at large will be adversely affected by implementation of climate-related policies that are not in place elsewhere. (Letter to Dan Logue, 13 May 2010)

° 5.5% unemployment for 4 consecutive quarters has occurred 7 times since 2005, 14 times since 1999, and 22 times since 1987.
Web Link

California has lost over a hundred billion dollars in income and revenue due to businesses leaving just this year. California has over 2 million people unemployed, with another million on the chopping block if AB 32 is fully enforced.

AB 32 supporters claim 500,000 jobs and an 80 billion dollar industry are at risk. Do the math! AB 32 can never hope to replace the jobs and income that it will cost us.

When the loudest objections to any candidacy or initiative are focused on vilifying its financial backers, this often indicates that its opponents’ arguments on its merits are weak.

If Proposition 23 is rejected, here is what will happen according to expert sources:

•A 60 percent increase in your electricity bill according to the Southern California Public Power Authority.

•An 8 percent increase in your natural gas bill according to CARB’s economic analysis.

•$50,000 more for the price of a new home according to an analysis by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

•$3.7 billion a year more for gasoline and diesel according to Sierra Research.

•A $1,000-$3,000 additional cost for a new car according to CARB and automaker studies.

On top of all that, a study conducted for the California Small Business Roundtable found that AB 32 regulations would cost small business alone nearly $200 billion, and would result in more than 1 million lost jobs.

The more I learn about AB 32, the more I fear it. It just gets worse. Please vote yes on Prop23.

“”2 Guys on the Bay Area Transportation Board told the CARB people, “If you try to do what you are going to do(AB 32) we’ll have gas at $9.07 a gallon and we have freeway tolls at up to $4,500 a year to drive during rush hour.”

“Part of the plan is to stop suburban development, get people to stop driving, make driving too expensive for people to live out there, force them to live in high-rises, condos, in the city.”

For months, John and Ken have made Prop 23 their top priority, calling it a necessary step to stop a law they say will kill jobs and cost Californians a fortune in higher gas and energy prices. With an estimated one million listeners per week, these two guys usually manage to rally enough votes to get their way.

The video has John and Ken explaining why they think this bill is the most important measure on the ballot.

Web Link

Vote yes on Prop 23 and suspend AB32.


Like this comment
Posted by ten18
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2010 at 8:08 am

Yeah, let's make energy scarce and more expensive - that's a sure way to prosperity. Yeah, and for every "green job" created, we'll lose five real jobs. The sad thing is that the environmental movement's Big Lie will be sold to the sheeple just like all of the other Big Lies.


Like this comment
Posted by Charlie
a resident of another community
on Oct 29, 2010 at 10:19 am

It's true, California can't stop climate change by itself. But humanity needs to start somewhere. Those who favor Prop. 23 are putting their heads in the sand. If everyone does that, waiting for someone else to take the first move, our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will look back at us as a highly irresponsible, selfish generation. Let's take a step in the right direction. The states need to lead on this, and California should be proud to be one of the leaders.


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Posted by Greg
a resident of Southgate
on Oct 29, 2010 at 11:21 am

If Prop 23 fails, that should be good for nuclear power, because clean, relatively cheap baseload electrical generation needs to come from somewhere. It defintely will NOT be solar or wind. Without a major growth of nuclear power, California will just agree to give up its prosperity.

Vote NO on Prop 23! We need a nuclear future!


Like this comment
Posted by James Spencer
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 29, 2010 at 11:33 am

I think that it is useful for people to do the following experiment, if they haven't observed the effect already: after every rain take a look at your patios or their equivalents to see how much black residue has come down that you have to clean up to see just how dirty the air is now and then ask yourselves whether this is going to help or make a bad situation worse. Vote accordingly.


Like this comment
Posted by P'ville
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 29, 2010 at 12:26 pm

"It's true, California can't stop climate change by itself. But humanity needs to start somewhere."

How about starting with job retention and creation? We need Prop 23 much more than global warming theories that are based on fudged data.


Like this comment
Posted by ten18
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2010 at 12:46 pm

What does carbon dioxide have to do with the black stuff (most likely atmospheric dust) that ends up on your patio after a rain? That's part of the Big Lie! The air in California is cleaner than it has been in generations, and it continues to get cleaner. Give me a break.


Like this comment
Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 29, 2010 at 12:58 pm

"How about starting with job retention and creation?" For a start, we might stop outsourcing American jobs overseas and stop the destruction of the US manufacturing base, which has nearly disappeared, a calamity that started with the Supply-Side geniuses. We have polluted the atmosphere and the rest of our Planet to the point that life might not be sustainable in the not so distance future and then job retention and creation would mean absolutely nothing. The denial of man-caused climate change by the right-wing is entirely comparable in its absurdity and hubris to the Flat-Earth Society idiotic lunacy.


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Posted by Greg
a resident of Southgate
on Oct 29, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Whether one believes in global warming or not, the single best source of clean electrical generation is nuclear. Nuclear is clean, realtively cheap and provides BASE LOAD electrical generation (that means available all the time). Many of the supporters of solar and wind simply do not understand base load.

A defeat of Prop 23 will be a job killer in the short run, but it will be good for nuclear power in the long run. In fact it will almost certainly guarantee nuclear power gorwth in California. That is a very good thing.

Vote NO on Prop 23!


Like this comment
Posted by Its real
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 29, 2010 at 1:26 pm

The reality is that warming is real, and that those who think otherwise have been deceived by a propaganda campaign organized along the same lines as that which for decades claimed that cigarette smoke was harmless. Indeed, the campaign to deny that the human act of digging up fossil fuels, burning them, and then letting the resulting CO2 enter the atmosphere was initially run by some of the same people, such as Fred Singer. See Web Link for exhaustive details on the propaganda campaign. For a brief summary of why we know that our world has warmed, see Web Link and for a summary of why we know that humans are responsible see Web Link

The folks who think that Prop. 23 has any meaningful impact on jobs are highly confused. The reality is that a large chunk of California's job creation has been a direct result of the efficiency advantage that California has over other areas. From Web Link

> California’s decades of leadership in energy efficiency
> have helped the state reduce its per capita energy consumption
> since the 1970s yielded $56 billion in savings, and produced
> the equivalent of about 1.5 million full-time jobs.
>
> Suspending AB 32 would dampen in-state momentum by eliminating
> regulations that set discrete targets for improvement, as well
> as measures that help facilitate the transition to a low-carbon
> economy, e.g., voluntary programs and educational efforts for
> individuals, businesses, and local governments.


Like this comment
Posted by Greg
a resident of Southgate
on Oct 29, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Its real,

Are you saying that you support nuclear power?

I hope so.


Like this comment
Posted by ten18
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2010 at 1:48 pm

No, these people continue to cling to their fantasy that man is somehow influencing the climate, and everyone else be d*mned. Higher energy prices, job losses - they don't care. And if you don't agree with them, boy . . . you're a flat-earther!


Like this comment
Posted by Its real
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 29, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Greg: We should take the most cost-effective measures first, with efficiency being by far the cheapest. Nuclear construction's recent history (in places like Finland and Canada) is that it comes in vastly over budget. Unless those costs come down dramatically (and there is the potential with new reactor designs) I suspect that in California we're not going to find the construction of new nuclear facilities to be cost-competitive.


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Posted by Greg
a resident of Southgate
on Oct 29, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Its real: But there ARE new nuclear designs. They are mini (or micro) nuclear plants, stationed locally. Major centralized plants are also very good, but they are not a showstopper.

Efficiency is good in the abstract, but it also costs a lot of investment by our citizens and businesses. This means that lost jobs are the investment cost. Arguing to the ad absurdum, the most effict human being is the caveman that gives up his fire, and walks out into the winter storm, in order to die. Yes, we can create some jobs by forcing effiency standards, but we will lose many more jobs, because we don't demand cheap and clean energy. Let'snot forget about all those nuclear energy jobs that can, and should, be created.

Once again, Its real, do you support nuclear?


Like this comment
Posted by Lisa
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 29, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Don't believe in human induced climate change?
Go to Alaska, the far north or south almost anywhere in the world. The effects are obvious - retreating glaciers, the northerly move of songbirds over the past 100 years, and the obvious extreme weather effects over the midwest USA and the world.

If you really want to learn about this, read "The Weathermakers" by Tim Flannery, a converted skeptic who LOOKED AT THE DATA and realized it was an issue.

Balance of Trade - a significant portion of the USA balance of trade is in petroleum imports from Middle Eastern countries that hate us and fund terrorism. (what, are you just stupid?)

China - missed out on the tech revolution in chips, missed out on the dot com internet revolution. They want to make Green energy their thing. So go ahead, go to Wal Mart, buy more Chinese stuff, destroy the USA middle class. (Yes, I'm convinced you are stupid)

My group has fought the terrorists in the Middle East. You tea partiers and Flat earthers - Get a grip. The Republicans may win, and destroy the USA even more. But we will win. We are under 30, we are black, brown, hispanic, Asian. And we vote. So old fat white guys - Good Night and Good Luck - you will need it.

So go and read this stuff - maybe you'll get some education. Duuuhhhh


Like this comment
Posted by Lisa
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 29, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Yes, I do support nuclear power, wind, solar, geothermal, and OTEC. But the least expensive option would be the cash for caulkers which will weatherize houses. But I suppose you conservative jerks would rather just give all of the rich people a tax cut, and increase the national debt even more.

After all, in 1980 the US National debt was less than $1B. Reagan increased it with his tax cuts and increased DOD spending, Bush the 1st increased it as well. Clinton inherited a mess, was lucky with the tech revolution and managed to deliver a surplus in 1998, 1999. But then George II managed to squander it, and increased the national debt by several billon. Web Link

Obama inherited a mess: $700B bank bailout, and the 2009 was actually created by Bush II.

So here's what i can't figure out. I'm sure you all are strong Americans, believe in lifting yourself up by your bootstraps, and self invention. Great- we all do. But then you go and vote for white males who were born with a silver spoon in their mouths - Bushie 1 and Shrub. And when someone is elected who really did invent himself - Obama - you want to pull him down. Hmmmm. Seem hyprocritical. For more on the Bush family, read "American Dynasty, by Kevin Phillips, worked for Nixon.

Good Night and Good Luck!


Like this comment
Posted by Greg
a resident of Southgate
on Oct 29, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Lisa,

"Don't believe in human induced climate change?

Go to Alaska, the far north or south almost anywhere in the world. The effects are obvious"

You might want to check out the folliwng statement, which I saw the other day on this site:


“THE ARCTIC OCEAN IS WARMING UP, ICEBERGS ARE GROWING SCARCER AND IN SOME PLACES THE SEALS ARE FINDING THE WATER TOO HOT. REPORTS ALL POINT TO A RADICAL CHANGE IN CLIMATE CONDITIONS AND HITHERTO UNHEARD-OF TEMPERATURES IN THE ARCTIC ZONE. EXPEDITIONS REPORT THAT SCARCELY ANY ICE HAS BEEN MET WITH AS FAR NORTH AS 81 DEGREES 29 MINUTES. GREAT MASSES OF ICE HAVE BEEN REPLACED BY MORAINES OF EARTH AND STONES, WHILE AT MANY POINTS WELL KNOWN GLACIERS HAVE ENTIRELY DISAPPEARED.”

US WEATHER BUREAU, 1922

However, whichever way you want to slice and dice, nuclear power will be our future...there is no other practical choice. The only real choice is if we want to wait until our California unemployment rate goes to 15% (or much higher), before we act.


Like this comment
Posted by ten18
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2010 at 3:44 pm

The climate will change whether we're here or not. That's a simple truth. You don't have to be liberal or conservative to believe it.


Like this comment
Posted by ten18
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2010 at 3:46 pm

@Lisa - "So old fat white guys - Good Night and Good Luck - you will need it."

Nice, unifying statement. From what I understand, the old fat white guys have the money, so they will probably be making the policy.


Like this comment
Posted by Its real
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 29, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Greg: Like I said, support for nuclear would be dependent on showing that those new designs can actually be built at the costs and reliability that are being claimed. Unfortunately, the nuclear industry has a long history of simply lieing about cost and safety, so we can't take them at their word.


Like this comment
Posted by Greg
a resident of Southgate
on Oct 29, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Its real,

"Unfortunately, the nuclear industry has a long history of simply lieing about cost and safety, so we can't take them at their word."

Care to defend that statement?


Like this comment
Posted by Albert K Henning
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 29, 2010 at 4:45 pm

The ignorance about climate change and human causation, expressed in many of the comments above, is a sad indictment of our educational and political systems.

What is proven fact:
1) the climate is changing
2) the climate is warming; not a lot, but enough to potentially cause problems; and, combined with the CO2 concentration rate of rise (which is unprecedented), gives cause for concern.
3) the increase in temperature drives much larger deviations (plus AND minus) from median, or average, weather, than has been observed in historic time; both lower low temps as well as higher hot temps; both wetter days and drier days; both shallow snowpack and deeper snowpack. and, this effect is counter-intuitive for most people.
4) models of climate change are able to reproduce measured CO2 and atmospheric temperature profiles over all of the last 100,000 years, EXCEPT for the last 180, UNLESS human factors are added to the models
5) the models' predictions for the next 100 years are, however, subject to debate; small changes in rate of rise of T and CO2 concentration lead to very different predictions of rate of climate change
6) one problem is this: if the climate stays on its present track, melting ice caps in Greenland, the north of Canada and Russia, and Antarctica, will cause an increase in ocean mean high tide of 8'; since roughly 50% of the US population lives within 8' of mean high tide, tremendous costs accrue to deal with this effect -- costs either to mitigate/reverse/slow it, or to protect existing property and infrastructure, or to move property and infrastructure inland
7) what is not clear at all, is: what do we do? the economic analyses do not agree. the models agree on trends, but do not agree on how long we have to deal with the problems; is it 30 years, or 150?
8) as a result, we need neither head-in-the-sand people (whose only 'insight' into the issue is the East Anglia faux pas, or the 'hockey stick controversy'), nor over-zealous scientists and administrators who claim it's already too late, but we need to re-vamp and re-direct our economy in a massive way, regardless.
9) what we need is a dedicated and disciplined *process* to determine what needs to be done. For instance, the IPCC report does a good job, UNTIL it gets to the 'Summary for Policy Makers', which has serious flaws in its quantification of risk and probability.

That is my take, as a trained scientist and engineer, and as someone who has read the IPCC report, many of the 'anti' climate change papers, and many of the judgment-neutral papers in the archival literature.


Like this comment
Posted by Greg
a resident of Southgate
on Oct 29, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Albert, you can go argue your points about global warming with Richard Lindzen, from MIT.

I am not convicned about global warming, but I am competely convinced that nuclear energy will be our major energy source, going forward. Are you convinced, Albert?


Like this comment
Posted by Really?
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 29, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Alan -

If you can show me strong evidence for your claim #4, I will be convinced. That is, show a model or models that accurately predict historical climates without fudging, extra constants etc. that are taken from the data the model is trying to predict.

I ask because all the scientists I have seen work from who study historical climate and geology, who look at more than 5000 years, do not put credence in this theory. There seems to be consensus among this group that we are leaving a mild climate patch and headed toward an ice age no matter what we do.


Like this comment
Posted by Its real
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 29, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Greg: here's a typical lie about safety, where officials stated UNDER OATH that the nuclear plant didn't have underground pipes carrying radioactive material, when they actually did, and those pipes were leaking:
Web Link

Here's a typical lie about costs, where the price of a nuclear plant keeps on increasing: Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 29, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Follow the money. Most VC firms I know are invested in 'green'. Just like you think Texas oil is the evil superpower villain for 23,
VC money is the evil superpower against anything endangering their investments.

Sorry, there are no pure motives on either side-it is business as usual...


Like this comment
Posted by Read the Reports
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 29, 2010 at 8:48 pm

In the 4th paragraph of the article, there is the statement "..where elected leaders routinely flaunt the city's eco-friendly
initiatives... I suggest a better word than flaunt should have been used. It means both to display ostentatiously (their green credentials0 or to treat with distain. Maybe the council does both in attempting to please both sides of the argument!!

I like Albert Henning's blog. It's the most reasoned statement of the information on climate change I've read recently. It's too short to cite all the sources to back up his statements, but for #4 one can google measured CO2 and atmospheric temperature profiles for the last 100,000 years. There has been core sampling of ice that shows the amount of CO2 captured in glacieal deposits over that time.

How much change can be attributed to man and how much to normal" variations that our planet undergoes periodically is still up for grabs. I'd bet it's both - we just don't how much of each it is and what the long term consequences of man's contributions today are which were not present in the past.


Like this comment
Posted by Read the Reports
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 29, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Sorry about the 3rd and 4th line errors in my contribution. It should be (their green crecentials) and the word is "disdain" not "distain"


Like this comment
Posted by Greg
a resident of Southgate
on Oct 30, 2010 at 3:03 am

It's real,

Your reference about the "lies about safety" for nuclear is typical of the hysteria upon which politicians make flawed decisions. Your refernce was to Vermont Yankee, which provides about one-third of the electricity to the state of Vermont. The Vermont senate voted to not allow Vermont Yankee to continue operation beyond 2012, yet it has no clue as to where to get the replacement electrcity at reasonable rates. IBM, the largest employer in Vermont, is warning that this decision could have grave consequences on it continuing competitive position. On May 20, 2010, the NRC released a report on Vermont Yankee:

Based on the results of this inspection, the NRC determined that Entergy-Vermont Yankee (ENVY) appropriately evaluated the contaminated ground water with respect to off-site effluent release limits and the resulting radiological impact to public health and safety; and that ENVY complied with all applicable regulatory requirements and standards pertaining to radiological effluent monitoring, dose assessment, and radiological evaluation. No violations of NRC requirements or findings of significance were identified.

Your reference to cost overuns on the initial building of a large nuke plant contains the bottom line statment that you seem to so easily overlook: "Nuclear will also save customers $1-billion a year on fuel costs, the utility estimated"


Like this comment
Posted by Yes on 23
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Oct 30, 2010 at 6:11 am

Did you notice that, out of ALL of California, 1/5th of all the volunteers against Prop 23 are from Palo Alto?

One of the richest, least concerned about the effect on the working class folks in the State.

I am assuming the rest come from Beverly Hills and University Students who know nothing about the relationship between the opportunity to earn one's own living and job creation.

There is a reason support for this sort of thing comes from the rich and the students...there is a reason Democrats go after the young who aren't working yet and the rich who have lost their ability to relate to the rest of us struggling to survive.


Like this comment
Posted by Yes on 23
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Oct 30, 2010 at 6:15 am

Mike,for once I agree with you. I used to think the VCs and folks like Buffet knew what was 'best' for the economy..I am not realizing that the VCs are in the tank for as much government protection for THEIR investments as possible..a lot of them have put a lot of money into industries that would be "protected" from competition if AB32 sticks..so they are fighting it tooth and nail. And the Buffets? Look who he supported in the last election, knowing it would get his banks more bail-outs.

I have learned. Follow the money.

For me, let us stay free to work in thriving competition, not jobless in entrenched protectionism.


Like this comment
Posted by Yes on 23
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Oct 30, 2010 at 6:17 am

oops..I am noW ( not noT) realizing that the VCs are in the tank for as much government protection for THEIR investments ( I wrote it wrong above.

Sort of like ..look who supports Brown (state unions....) versus Whitman. Who is breaking our California bank? Who wants more bankruptcy of our tax base?

Go out and vote wisely for the future of our State, or we will continue to feel the business and brain drain effects.


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 30, 2010 at 8:53 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

As long as government guarantees a profit to green gadgets you will find venture capital willing to share. Our own PG&E, once a sterling example of a serving regulated utility, was pounded into servitude to the planners by the treatment they received with Diablo and Helms and the subsequent unequal "deregulation". The engineers left and the boodlers took over. They no longer have to satisfy customers, only regulators and legislators, to be guaranteed a profit.
The flaws in the temperature data base have been demonstrated; the response "Urban Heat Island Correction Factors" doth make the judicious grieve.
The recent eruptions once again demonstrate that humans are way down in the climate effectors. The reluctance of the warmies to offer real world use of Gulf War oil well fires or various eruptions to validate their models suggests they tried and failed to bend reality to match their black box, and so rejected reality.


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Posted by Greg
a resident of Southgate
on Oct 30, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Assuming that Prop 23 fails, that means that AB32 remains in effect. This should mean that nuclear power gets a major subsidy from other power sources which generate greenhouse gases (cap and trade), right?

This will make nuclear even more ridiculously favorable than it already is.

Vote NO on Prop 23!!


Like this comment
Posted by paulie
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 30, 2010 at 2:37 pm

"Did you notice that, out of ALL of California, 1/5th of all the volunteers against Prop 23 are from Palo Alto?.. One of the richest, least concerned about the effect on the working class folks in the State."

You're clueless about Palo Alto.


Like this comment
Posted by celia alario
a resident of another community
on Oct 30, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Always helpful to FOLLOW THE MONEY: Check out Web Link and Web Link to see who is behind these Propositions.


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Posted by Wayne
a resident of another community
on Oct 30, 2010 at 8:27 pm

It comes down to this. AB 32 is a major job killer that will cost everyone way too much, and it DOES NOTHING for climate change.

This is the ultimate "We have to do something, even if it won't work."

CARB could ELIMINATE GHGs in California and it would DO NOTHING for climate change.

In fact, it will do worse than do nothing, it will force refining out of the state and guess who is in the best position to provide CARB gasoline and diesel to California... India and China, who care nothing about climate change and pollution.

I am all for nuclear power, but it is not worth putting a million people out of work and reducing the living standard of everyone in the state.


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Posted by The Future Is Blowing In (and with) The Wind
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 30, 2010 at 10:23 pm

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group - 300+ member companies strong - opposes Prop 23 and supports AB 32 - 'nuff said.

And Greg: Nuclear, like solar, needs tremendous subsidies to "compete" in the marketplace. And don't look now, but wind is going up everywhere - it doesn't need such subsidies to compete.


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Posted by Perspective
a resident of Meadow Park
on Oct 31, 2010 at 6:37 am

When I read an alarming newspaper article about polar ice caps melting and bears in danger and oceans rising..and see it is from 1923, I get a clue that there is a cycle to this "worry".

Looking for the original.

The earth warms and cools in 30 year cycles. Screaming headlines in the 1880s about cooling, 1920s about warming, 60s about cooling, 90s about warming ...

think about it.

History did not begin in our lifetimes.




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Posted by Greg
a resident of Southgate
on Oct 31, 2010 at 7:33 am

Wind: The industrialization of our open spaces by wind turbines and solar panels is something to consider. Also, wind and solare are NOT baseload!

Nuclear is not really subsidzed by the government. I found the following on a different blog:

"Nuclear is far cheaper than any other clean option, and is subsidized far less in comparison. There are no subsidies for running reactors, to the contrary each reactor operator pays over $4 000 000 per year to the government in regulatory costs, then there is nuclear fuel disposal tax added to each kWh produced, and plethora of federal, state and local taxes being payed by the plant operators and the employees.

The loan guarantees are not really a subsidy either – they are not money payed by the govt to who ever runs the reactor, such as the subsidies for wind/solar. A company has to pay a hefty sum to get the loan guarantee. Loan guarantees are basically a costly guarantee from the govt. to the investors that if govt. somehow prevents the plant from operating (such as antinuke zealots get elected), the govt. will pay the investors back.

As several investors lost billions in nuclear related investments due to government decisions which did not allow a built & licensed plant to operate, this is the only way to get investor to build nuclear plants."

AB32 will have the effect of a subsidy to nuclear, through the cap-and-trade mechanism, but that is the choice of the state government...the nuclear industry did not demand it.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 31, 2010 at 7:42 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Come on, Windy/Blow, I remember when the subsidies ran out on wind, and the Altamont almost shut down, and we all know what happens to solar when the sun don't shine. Kindly enumerate the "subsidies" nuclear "enjoys." Please don't insult the readership with the same tired Price-Anderson screed or the blatantly false assertion that no one knows how to safely dispose of nuclear wastes.


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Posted by zanon
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Oct 31, 2010 at 7:45 am

if you read climate gate emails then it becomes obvious global warming is fraud.

besides, it is not hard to adapt to climate change. try fly from california to boston. different climate people live haapy in both


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Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 31, 2010 at 9:19 am

Man caused climate change deniers are part of a larger wave of stupidity, ignorance, insanity and viciousness that has engulfed this nation since Reagan took office. This wave of stupidity and insanity was addressed very eloquently at yesterday's Sanity Rally. There is not a scintilla of difference between the climate change deniers and the flat-earthers.


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Posted by Greg
a resident of Southgate
on Oct 31, 2010 at 10:45 am

daniel, at the "Sanity Rally" was there a shout out in favor of nuclear power for electrcity generation? Sane people support nuclear power, unless they let irrational fears overcome their sanity.

The Huffington Post allowed an article that addresses this issue ( Web Link ).

Since there is no rational reason to oppose nuclear power, daniel, I am just wondering if nuclear was openly supported at the supposedly sane rally?


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Posted by daniel
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 31, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Greg, I don't necessarily oppose nuclear power, I just don't know that it's economically feasible to build nuclear reactors at this point, since they seem to be too expensive and not an attractive investment. They can't be profitable without substantial public subsidies but I don't rule them out as one ingredient in a wind, solar and bio-fuels solution, since no one source is capable of providing clean energy. The problem is their present economic model.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 31, 2010 at 1:33 pm

So people of repute who have a lot of money they made from tech - not green tech - are funding the fight against. Interesting. Did they get a better conscience once they could afford it?


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Posted by Greg
a resident of Southgate
on Oct 31, 2010 at 2:13 pm

"I don't necessarily oppose nuclear power, I just don't know that it's economically feasible to build nuclear reactors at this point, since they seem to be too expensive and not an attractive investment. They can't be profitable without substantial public subsidies "

daniel, I know that you believe that statement, because it has been part of the anti-nuclear campaign for decades. However, it is totally untrue.

daniel, the private nuclear industry is more than willing to build large and small nuclear plants. All they need is to have the government to allow them to do it. The public subsidies for nuclear, which were real, including the Manhatten Project and a variety of university/defense dept. research, has already been spent. It is a sunk cost. There is plenty of investment capital out there for nuclear, IF the government guarantees that a license is a license, not a semi-promise that can/will be reversed if the irrationals get their way in the polls.

If irrationality had been removed from the nuclear issue, starting back in the 70s, we could now be totally free of dependence on foreign sources of energy. And we would have much cleaner air, not to mention much reduced CO2 output. Any sane and rational person could grasp this simple fact.

You sound like you are open to rationality, daniel, so please take the time to understand the issue. It is a bit technical, but it is NOT a threat to our safety. However it IS the ONLY hope for a clean energy future. Solar and wind should need to compete with nuclear...do you agree? BTW, I don't oppose solar and wind, in fact I like them, on a personal basis, but I want our societal choices to be based on place and circumstance and cost, and baseload capability, not irrationality.


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Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 31, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Like I said, if the economic model is feasible, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with nuclear power as one ingredient among others in the solution to energy independence and clean air. Unlike you, based on reading a number of energy scholars, I'm not so optimistic about the economic model, but I could be wrong. As to the larger issue of global warming which is totally or overwhelmingly man caused:make no mistake, it threatens the very existence of humanity, the deniers are either crazy like the flat-earthers or consumed by an ideology that profits should always trump communal interests, in this case the future of our world.


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Posted by Greg
a resident of Southgate
on Oct 31, 2010 at 4:54 pm

daniel, if global warming is the overwhelming issue to humaity, as you believe, wouldn't it make sense to have an overwhelming response against it? If so, there is really only one answer: Nuclear. Of course I am assuming that we don't want to see massive world-wide wars about people just trying to survive, and fighting for minimimal resoruces. I would like to see a properous world-wide population, confident that it can survive, thus slowly reducing its birthrate, thus offering a solid chance that wild animals still have a place on this planet, and with the modern sciences that can provide for the special cases of diseases and the compassion to commit to them. I would also like to see an end to poverty. I would also like to see an end to coal-based electical generation, except in a national emergency.

daniel, none of this can be achieved without nuclear power. If we don't go nuclear, we will see massive economic decline, massive poverty, massive wars and massive misery. There is really no other choice.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 31, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Frankly the benefits of coal and oil far outweigh the debits. s the consumption of coal and oil increased, so did the living standard and the lifespan. Nuclear will be welcome in its turn because of the greater concentration of energy recoverable per ton of fuel and because it is one of the easiest to dispose of wastes. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Crush Prop 23 Campaign
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 1, 2010 at 10:49 am

HELP DEFEAT PROP 23 and 26:

Join the campaign's GOTV (get out the vote) efforts in Palo Alto. Volunteer for a calling shift during the following times:
MONDAY: 8AM-9PM
TUESDAY: 8AM - 9PM

Contact Spencer Olson at 650-201-8686 or spencer [at] greencorps.org.

Your help is needed - this is the final stretch.


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Posted by Greg
a resident of Southgate
on Nov 1, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Spencer,

Do you support nuclear power?


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Posted by Let's go Giants!
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 1, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Kick those Texans out of our state for good.


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Posted by Greg
a resident of Southgate
on Nov 1, 2010 at 5:16 pm

I am a big Giants fan, but I want them to lose tonight, so that they can come home and kick ass in San Francisco. It would a NUCLEAR explosion!


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 1, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Austin is loving this hate Texas bloody shirt advertising. Just one more reason for them to sweeten the pot and drag a few more of our high tech companies away. I previously asked what percentage of those
"Texas" company shares are held by California pension funds. I kinda suspect those companies might be more Californian than Texan on that basis. At any rate the organizations supporting the ads against 23 will need to wash their hands thoroughly to get rid of the stain.


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Posted by Let's go Giants!
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 1, 2010 at 9:07 pm

If those pro-pollution Texas Oil Companies want to boost their pollution output, let them stay in Texas, along with their loser baseball team.


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

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