We Did It!

We Did It! On June 8, we beat the $46 million PG&E Prop 16 Goliath by working together and refusing to give up! It restores my faith in the electorate that enough people could see beyond the massive barrage of deceptive advertising to reject a power grab when they saw one.

Letter From Our Executive Director-Summer 2010

The defeat of Prop 16 and 17 (sponsored by Mercury Insurance Co.) sends a message to corporate special interests that the California ballot initiative process is not for sale at any price.

Had Props 16 and 17 passed, deep-pocketed corporations from AT&T and Comcast to Walmart and McDonald’s would have been emboldened to place on the ballot their own pet propositions giving them competitive advantage.  Perhaps Valero and the other Texas oil companies will have second thoughts about spending millions on a ballot initiative for November that would gut AB 32 climate reduction mandates. That measure is doomed to fail just as did Prop 16, and the T. Boone Pickens-sponsored Prop 10, and the John Sperling-sponsored Prop 7 back in 2008.

Never before has one company spent so much money to burn so many bridges.

How many more millions–tens of millions or more–will PG&E need to spend to repair burnt bridges with legislators, the CPUC, with scores cities and towns, and especially with their very own customers? After all, a good reputation that takes a lifetime to build can be squandered in a moment. Ask any politician!  We need to be on the lookout for more frivolous spending/charitable contributions/political contributions by PG&E in the near future as they attempt to buy their way back into the good graces of their erstwhile friends.

The election results should serve as a wake up call to PG&E.

The hard cold facts are that PG&E was defeated by their very own customers who voted against Prop 16 by a margin of 58% to 42%.  In San Francisco, Sonoma, Yolo, and Santa Cruz counties, Prop 16 was defeated by a two thirds margin. PG&E is out of touch and out of control on many fronts.  It has crammed its dumb smart meters down the throat of its customers, utilized illegal tactics to undermine community choice in Marin and SF, defied the CPUC by filing an NRC application for relicensing the Diablo reactors prior to completing seismic studies, alienating the public along the way. Will PG&E come to its senses and prioritize the interests and concerns of their customers, or will they continue down the path of folly?

Let this victory serve as a beginning and not an end.

We need to unite in opposing PG&E’s demand for a record-breaking $4 billion rate increase in the midst of the worse recession since the 1930’s. We need to unite to make sure that PG&E stops its interference in the adoption or expansion of CCAs (Community Choice Aggregation, where communities unite to purchase energy on their own) and public power. We need to unite to call for a moratorium on smart meter installations until the CPUC investigation is completed and the problems fixed.  The bottom line is that we need to unite to reign in the rogue-like behavior of PG&E and demand accountability to communities and consumers.

I look forward to continue to work with you. Thank you for your dedication.


Mark Toney's Signature