Public Utility Chutzpah
Posted on February 22nd, 2010 at 6:35 pm by Mutt

PG&E Building in San Francisco
PG&E Building in San Francisco

Today, I noticed an ad for California Prop 16, with the catchline “Preserve Your Right To Vote.” Thinking that this sounded like a lot of spin, I decided to look it up.

According to Ballotpedia, this is basically an initiative funded by PG&E to make it more difficult for municipalities to start their own utilities.  It would amend the California state constitution to require that any Community Choice Aggregator be approved by a 2/3 vote.

Now, I already thought that California’s system for amending the constitution by a simple majority is ridiculous, but this really takes the cake.  (Perhaps even the lemon olive oil cake.  See below.)

Let me get this straight — you’re using a simple 50% vote to require that, in the future, individual communities need a 2/3 majority to do something?  That seems really backward.

But what really gets me is that PG&E, a monopoly public utility, is planning on spending $25-35 million dollars to singlehandedly fund the campaign for this initiative — that’s money that we’re paying them!