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YesOn87: SF Bay Area Events in Threee-Week Countdown
Oct 22, 2006 (From the CalCars-News archive)
This posting originally appeared at CalCars-News, our newsletter of breaking CalCars and plug-in hybrid news. View the original posting here.
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California has been on a roll since enacting AB32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006­calcars-news/­505.html. Momentum is growing for the state to continue taking the lead on "green-tech/clean-tech" innovation. But if we don't work from now until November 7, we could face a major setback if the YesOn87 campaign falls short. This is one we can't afford to lose!

At the end of this message, you'll find info about two events that provide opportunities for supporters of 87 to start giving their all for the campaign until Election Day. (If you're from out-of-state, spread the word to every Californian you know!)

As many people predicted, oil companies's TV ads in opposition to the Clean Energy Initiative have sowed "FUD" (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) among California's potential voters, who a few months favored Prop 87 by a 2:1 margin. With the "No on 87" budget now at $74 million, polls now show YesOn87 only slightly ahead. (Supporters may spend $47 million, reports the Sacramento Bee­111/­story/­42718.html -- substantial but not enough to level the playing field.)

If you haven't been following it, the initiative would tax oil extracted in California in the same way it's taxed in every other oil-producing state, producing $4 billion over ten years. About 60% of that would go to alternative fuel vehicles and fueling stations, 25% to alt-energy research, all in Califoria; 10% would go to other commercialization efforts, and the rest to vocational training, education and administration. Even in year one, these funds could go a long way to helping to commercialize plug-in hybrids and other needed technologies!

Opponents say the Initiative will raise oil prices, though the language mirrors provisions in other states' laws that prohibit oil companies from passing the tax along. And they try to get people worried that there's no way to prove that $4 billion will meet measurable targets for results. You can find answers to your questions at, and read an effective rallying cry­calcars-news/­556.html on the subject by NYTimes columnist Thomas Friedman

For me, the scariest indication of the opposition campaign's impact is that lifelong environmentalists have asked me, "How should I vote on 87?" To reach the initiative's natural constituency, the campaign responded last week, first with an ad by Al Gore (his first since the 2000 campaign) and then with one by Bill Clinton.

A week ago, we drove down to Los Angeles to be part of the event where Bill Clinton gave the speech that became the ad. You can watch Clinton's very effective and moving 22-minutes at­videoplay?docid=4326053026557238710&q=clinton+87 or at­watch?v=YovdQmJqZO8 -- see link to Part 2 (both have good audio, poor video).

We'll tell more about our car's role in that event in a subsequent post. And you can see photos at CalCars Photos­photos-people.html.

This week the campaign moves north. Monday at noon, Al Gore will be giving a speech at Martin Luther King. Jr. Memorial Park, 2151 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, across from the Berkeley City Hall. As in LA with Clinton, CalCars may again play a role in the event. Sign up ASAP to get a ticket at­page/­s/­RallyWithGore. (In Los Angeles, 5,000 downloaded tickets for the Clinton event, but there was room for only 3-4,000.)

If you can't make it to that event, check in tomorrow at Vote Solar for details about a possible Tuesday late afternoon event near the Embarcadero in downtown San Francisco in support of 87.

In the next few weeks, fight complacency! Though so much money is being spent on ads, this battle won't be won or lost on the TV screen. Prop. 87 can win if everyone who ought to be supporting this actively begins talking about it and organizing support. Thanks for doing your part!

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