Final No on 26 Coalition: EVERYBODY Against Big Oil, Tobacco and Alcohol!

At the end of the day, its a simple choice. Who do you trust when it comes to your environment, your health, your safety, and your pocketbook: Chevron, Phillip Morris, Anheuser Busch, and Exxon (major Prop 26 funders), or is it the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, League of Women Voters, California League of Conservation Voters, and the California Professional Firefighters?

But don’t take our word for it. See our coalition for yourself, which includes the California Nurses Association, Sierra Club, Planning and Conservation League, California Teachers Association, California Labor Federation, Coalition for Clean Air, Consumer Federation of California, Natural Resources Defense Council, Peace Officers Research Association of California, and the California State Sheriffs’ Association.

Or how about joining nearly every daily newspaper in the state that also opposes Prop 26, from the San Francisco Chronicle to the San Diego Union Tribune to the Sacramento Bee to the Los Angeles Times to La Opinion?

Each of these papers oppose Prop 26:

Sacramento Bee
San Jose Mercury News
Los Angeles Times
San Diego Union Tribune
La Opinion
San Francisco Chronicle
Bakersfield Californian
Fresno Bee
Merced Sun-Star
Santa Cruz Sentinel
Los Angeles Daily News
Modesto Bee
Chico Press Enterprise
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Contra Costa Times
Oakland Tribune
Ventura County Star
Santa Maria Times
Daily Democrat
San Bernadino Sun
Stockton Record
Redding Searchlight Record
Salinas Californian
Lompoc Record
Santa Ynez Valley News
Marin Independent Journal
San Gabriel Valley Times
Whittier Daily News
Eastern Publications Group – Eastside Sun
Visalia Times-Delta”
Chico News and Review

Join us in rejecting yet another attempt by narrow corporate interests to subvert the  public good in order to increase their profits. Vote No on 26!

Fresno Bee: Prop 26 Ad “Misleads” Voters

Not that ANYONE should be shocked or surprised that Big Oil, Alcohol, and Tobacco interests would attempt to mislead voters, but that’s just what an analysis of their ads by the Fresno Bee found, stating “The ad is vague and misleads viewers…

To watch some TRUTHFUL ads from the No on 26 campaign check out our recently released trilogy of them!

Prop 26 TV Ads Now Running!

No on 26 TV Spot — Stop Big Oil

No on 26 TV Spot — Gulf Horizon

No on 26 TV Spot Oil Derrick

San Jose Mercury News Editorials AGAIN Against Prop 26

That’s right, Prop 26 is SO BAD, that both the Sacrament Bee and the San Jose Mercury News dedicated two full editorials each in urging voters to reject yet another attempt by Big Oil, Tobacco, and Alcohol to avoid paying for the harm they cause.

But don’t take our word for it, or the word of the American Lung Association of California, the American Cancer Society, the California Professional Firefighters, or every environmental group in the state for that matter. Check out what the San Jose Mercury News had to say today…in no uncertain terms:

Proposition 26…is just as much of a threat to state environmental protections, not to mention taxpayers. We’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: Vote no on Proposition 26…Companies that deal with hazardous waste, for instance, pay a fee that helps fund the cleanup of toxic sites. Under Proposition 26, the introduction of new programs or the expansion of existing ones like this would face an impossible hurdle in a two-thirds vote. The need for cleanups wouldn’t go away, so the cost would be shifted to taxpayers.

Proponents of Proposition 26 apparently realize that voters will view many of the fees it would affect as eminently reasonable, so they’re not offering many details. The campaign originally posted a list of 84 “specific industry examples” under its “Stop Hidden Taxes” slogan, saying “billions” were at stake. But it has pulled that document from its website and now says it was merely a list of “all fees,” not those affected by the proposition. That’s a laugh.

Despite multiple requests by Mercury News reporter Paul Rogers, a campaign spokeswoman could not — or would not — give a single specific statewide example of an existing fee that Proposition 26 would affect. That’s the mark of a campaign trying to pull a fast one.

Oil companies are funding Proposition 26 because they want taxpayers to clean up their messes — including the greenhouse gases they spill into the atmosphere. Don’t let them get away with it. Vote no.

Read more here!

Prop 26 Debated on KCRW Radio

Listen to the debate on KCRW between Sean Hecht, Executive Director, UCLA’s Environmental Law Center (No on 26 side), and Joel Fox, President of the Small Business Action Committee (who have funneled over $1 million in contributions from big tobacco, oil and alcohol into the Yes on 26 campaign).

The debate starts around the 11:30 mark and runs for about 10 minutes. Here’s the transcript of the most important exchange…admitting what we all knew:

Warren Olney: Joel Fox, quickly we’re running short of time, but why would oil companies want to support this if it didn’t affect them?

Fox: Why are they supporting it? They’re supporting it because, um, they want the protection of the 2/3 vote – not necessarily for the oil spill, but for anything else.

Check out the No on 26 campaign advisory alerting the media that even the Yes campaign admits that Big Oil has spent $ millions to pass Prop 26 for the sole purpose of protecting its profits at the public’s expense.

Union of Concerned Scientists Expose Misleading “Vote Green” Slate Mailer

It doesn’t get more despicable than this…and thanks to Union of Concerned of Scientists hopefully voters will see through this effort to trick voters into thinking anti-environment votes are actually pro ones.

Here’s more from the organizations press release: Voters have already begun receiving a for-profit mailer with the headline “Californians Vote Green” recommending votes on Props 25 (no) and 26 (yes) that are the opposite of what the state’s leading public health and environmental organizations recommend.

“This pay-to-play ‘green’ mailer sinks to new lows when it comes to false advertising,” said Kalb. Proposition 26, which is vague and poorly written, threatens California’s efforts to bolster green jobs by cleaning up the state’s energy supply and cutting global warming pollution. According to UCS, if passed, Proposition 26 could:

•    Prevent the California Air Resources Board from collecting a fee from polluters to fund CARB and other agencies implementing policies to reach the state’s 2020 global warming emission-reduction target. Those policies include standards for renewable energy and low-carbon fuel.

•    Prevent CARB from levying fees on global warming pollution as part of an economy-wide cap on emissions.

•    Eliminate funding streams for public transportation, crippling implementation of SB 375, which is designed to help Californians drive less, pollute less, and spend less money on gas.

Proposition 26 threatens California’s clean energy and climate laws by redefining taxes, Kalb explained. Under current law, the state and municipal governments have the authority to impose fees on industries whose activities harm public health or the environment and use the revenue to correct and prevent those harms, as long as the amount of the fee bears a reasonable relationship to the harm.

Sacramento Bee Editorializes (AGAIN) Against Prop 26

It’s rare that a proposition is so bad, so blatantly misleading, and so poorly written that a major California newspaper takes the time to write two editorials slamming it. Prop 26 has the dubious honors of being just such a proposition as evidenced by today’s blistering editorial in the Sacramento Bee entitled Prop 26 could be dirty sleeper on state ballot“.

Here’s a few choice passages from the editorial:

Yet Proposition 23 isn’t the only initiative on the ballot that threatens California’s ability to combat air pollution and global warming. Proposition 26 would make it harder for the state to assess fees on industries that generate pollution or cause other societal harms, such as tobacco companies. It also deserves your “no” vote.

According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, passage of Proposition 26 would immediately burn a $1 billion hole in the state budget, because it would upend a gas-tax swap approved by state lawmakers to help close the state’s deficit.

As with Proposition 23, Proposition 26 is being bankrolled by industries and industry groups that expect to benefit from its passage. The biggest of these is Chevron, which has contributed $3.7 million to date, followed by the California Chamber of Commerce ($3.6 million), the American Beverage Association ($1.9 million), Philip Morris USA ($1.7 million) and Anheuser-Busch ($925,000).

This is the last thing California needs – another law that hurts the state budget, ties lawmakers’ hands, adds to litigation and could cause environmental harm.

Read more here.

New Report: “Paying for Pollution: Proposition 26 and its Potential Impacts on State Environmental and Public Health Protections in California”

Check out the new report by the Evan Frankel Environmental Law and Policy Program and the Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law! It backs up every assertion we’ve been making about Prop 26 since this campaign began.

Here’s a couple particularly important passages:

We find that Proposition 26 would:
Undercut the principle that polluters should pay for harms they cause. Proposition 26 would change a basic principle of state law allowing government to charge polluters upfront fees for the external costs they impose on the public, such as health risks and environmental harms. Proposition 26 would make it harder, for example, to impose some regulatory fees on hazardous products to address their adverse health effects on communities.
Likely repeal at least two product sustainability laws. This year, the Legislature enacted AB 2398 and AB 1343, which would fund product stewardship programs to prevent bulky products and harmful chemicals from entering landfills. Proposition 26 would likely repeal these laws unless the Legislature reenacts them in compliance with Proposition 26’s stringent 2/3 supermajority requirement.
Create a new barrier to ensuring that existing environmental and public health fees keep up with changing needs or with inflation. Legislative changes or updates to existing fees, which currently fund many environmental and public health programs, would require a 2/3 supermajority vote to enact unless they fall into one of the Proposition’s exceptions. The scope of the exceptions is both narrow enough and vague enough to risk the future of many fees.
Undermine the establishment of stable funding streams for key state environmental efforts, like the Green Chemistry Initiative and the Global Warming Solutions Act, that have already been enacted but that are not yet well funded. The state currently uses regulatory fees—the type that would be transformed into taxes by Proposition 26—to help pay for its environmental and public health programs. Proposition 26 would make it harder to impose or revise fees to fund these programs in the future. For example, it would threaten future regulatory fees to fund the state’s new Green Chemistry
Initiative, which is aimed at controlling exposure to hazardous chemicals.
Affect even revenue-neutral measures in unforeseeable ways. Proposition 26 requires a 2/3 vote not just on revenue bills, but on any legislation that results in a single person paying more tax. The Proposition’s language is worded quite broadly, transforming into a tax any change in statute that “results in any taxpayer paying a higher tax.” And under the Proposition’s new definition of “tax,” a bill that would cause even one business to pay a higher regulatory fee could be subject to the 2/3 vote requirement. It therefore could be read to define as a tax, for example, a proposal to reduce California taxpayers’ burden to pay for public health protection by charging a polluting industry for that protection.

Watch the No on 26 Press Event! (10-20-10)

Listen to KQED’s coverage of the No on 26 campaign event