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What Is The California Solar Energy Propostion 2008?

California Proposition 7, would, if approved, require California utilities to procure half of their power from renewable resources by 2025.

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If you've been seeing the ads and getting the phone calls like I have, you might want to check out the facts about this proposition we will vote on. states the following and provides a list of provisions in the initiative:

California Proposition 7, would, if approved, require California utilities to procure half of their power from renewable resources by 2025. In order to make that goal, levels of production of solar, wind and other renewable energy resources will more than quadruple from their current output of 10.9%. It will also require California utilities to increase their purchase of electricity generated from renewable resources by 2% annually to meet Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) [2] requirements of 40% in 2020 and 50% in 2025. Current law AB32 requires an RPS of 20% by 2010.

The 42 page measure is an initiated state statute that has qualified for the November 2008 ballot in California.[3] The petition drive to qualify the measure for the ballot was conducted by Progressive Campaigns, Inc. at a cost of $1.367 million.[4]

Perhaps to distinguish it from Proposition 10, which also is about alternative fuels, some California pundits are starting to refer to Prop. 7 as Big Solar and Prop. 10 as Big Wind.[5]

Estimated fiscal impact

The California Legislative Analyst's Office, the nonpartisan state agency charged with providing a neutral estimate about the fiscal impact on the state of ballot initiatives and state legislative bills, has arrived at the following summary of Prop. 7's estimated costs:
  • State administrative costs of up to $3.4 million annually for the regulatory activities of the Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission, paid for by fee revenues. The total cost to taxpayers of Proposition 7, using 2007-2008 state budget for comparison, would be 0.00002% of the state budget.

  • Potential, unknown increased costs and reduced revenues, particularly in the short term, to state and local governments resulting from the measure’s potential to increase retail electricity rates, with possible offsetting cost savings and revenue increases, to an unknown degree, over the long term to the extent the measure hastens renewable energy development.


The official committee supporting Prop 7 is called Californians for Solar and Clean Energy.

The primary financial backer of the initiative is Peter Sperling ($3,000,000). Peter Sperling has been a member of the board of directors of the Apollo group since 1997, but has been part of the Apollo group since 1983. Sperling was involved with the effort to protect the Santa Barbara grasslands in the city of Goleta, located on Elwood Mesa.

Jim Gonzalez, a lobbyist and political strategist with Jim Gonzalez & Associates in Sacramento[6] is the initiative's chief spokesperson.

Notable supporters of Proposition 7 include Monterey County Progressive Democrats of America, CA State Senator John L. Burton, Chair, Rainforest Action Network Chairperson, James Gollin, Former Chair of the State Senate Energy Committee, CA State Senator Martha Escutia (ret.) and Co-Founder of the United Farmworkers Union, Dolores Huerta.

For the full list of supporters, see: List of Proposition 7 supporters


The formal group opposing Prop. 7 is called Californians Against Another Costly Energy Scheme. The coalition includes the California Democratic Party, the California Republican Party, the California Labor Federation, the California Taxpayers' Association, the League of California Cities and the California Solar Energy Industries Association. A separate coalition of environmental organizations has been formed, including the California League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies.

See also: List of Proposition 7 opponents.

Check out the full information on's website.

Edited by Carolyn Allen
| solar power | political | policy |


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