On June 8 the primary ballot in California contained proposition sixteen, an item previously discussed on a forum here. This measure was promoted by Pacific Gas and Electric which threw millions into saturation advertising in favor of it. The measure would have prohibited Cities and Counties from getting into the electric generation business except through a 2/3 vote of the electorate. During the runup to the election, I never saw anything on the TV against it, and as far as I knew, there was no organized opposition to it. The final vote was
For: 2,062,959 42.5%
Against: 2,784,316 57.5%
No, your eyes do not deceive you. The measure failed. The voters, by a substantial margin, turned away the power companies’ attempt to cement their profit margin in place. The spread was great enough that it will be a long time before they try it again. By then it may be too late for them. We shall see.
Yes, PGE spent many millions to promote Prop 16. Their ads on TV and the web were slick, relentless and self assured. The opposition spent around 100k and had no ads.
Apparently people want to have options with their power source. 🙂
Legislated monopolies are bad news now that basic infrastructure is in place. Though you have to be careful that it makes economic sense for smaller players to contribute to upgrades as needed, instead of free-riding on the ex-monopolist’s gear.