Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Prop 87's failure: impact on alternative energy investments?

The defeat of California's Proposition 87, by far the most expensive ballot initiative in the state's history, is a blow to national alternative and renewable energy and efficiency advocates and will almost certainly derail a lot of venture capital that would have pursued the $4 billion in revenue generated by the proposed tax on in-state oil production.

The apparent 55% to 45% defeat shifts the focus to what the now Democratically-controlled U.S. House of Representatives, and perhaps the U.S. Senate, might do with the upcoming farm bill alongside of a stab at addressing pressing issues that didn't make the cut in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Perhaps more important for the environment is the penchant for Congress and the White House do take action on climate change, which a growing number of insurance companies and energy-intensive corporations would like to see from the next President, if not from Congress starting in January.

Many eyes will be on Department of Energy Assistant Secretary Andy Karsner for how he is championing alternative energy projects already in the pipeline and helping to focus private sector capital - intellectual and financial - on programs, products and new technologies that can improve efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and stabilize America's dependence on unreliable supplies of crude oil and natural gas. Are DOE and the White House up to the task of going beyond what many analysts are privately asserting has been, overal, a 'timid' commitment to alternative energy and renewables?

If you didn't see this spoof via Yahoo Video of a 'debate' between a Prop 87 proponent and opponent, it's worth seeing.

Proposition 87, Karsner, alternative energy, renewable energy, climate change, Energy Policy Act of 2005, Department of Energy


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