This isn’t transportation related, but I need to speak out against PG&E’s $45 million (and counting) campaign for its special interest Proposition 16, the so-called “Taxpayers Right To Vote Act.”
You’ve seen and heard the ads for Proposition 16, the “Taxpayers Right to Vote Act,” which in reality is the “Protect PG&E’s Monopoly By Changing the Constitution Act.”
Right now, city councils have the authority to make decisions on running the city’s business. That’s why we elect these representatives to these local councils. The citizens already have the right to show up at city council discussions on any decision, large or small, including decisions about potentially running a city owned utility.
PG&E is afraid a city utility might offer better rates or service. To keep their monopoly, they’ve funded this Proposition 16, which will require a 2/3 majority vote before a city can operate its own power utility.
This is the same PG&E that received an $8 billion bailout from the state in the wake of gross mismanagement that led to the utility’s bankruptcy (which ratepayers are still paying for!), and the same PG&E that has $6 billion in rate hikes pending at the California Public Utilities Commission.
If passed, Proposition 16 will limit competition. A 2/3 super majority requirement for change effectively locks out competition and locks in PG&E’s monopoly.
California’s system of the ballot initiative to change state law was pioneered in the early 1900s as a way to counter Southern Pacific Railroad’s influence on the Legislature. PG&E is now using this system in an attempt to bypass local control to protect their monopoly control of the utility market in California.
PG&E has a list of groups — many of which are funded almost entirely by PG&E — to endorse their Proposition, while almost every newspaper in the state along with politicians and civic, advocacy and other community groups left, right and center all oppose this proposition.