Goats, elephants, elections

Former California Energy Commissioner John Geesman follows Proposition 16 developments on his noteworthy blog, “PG&E Ballot Initiative Factsheet

“Pacific Goats and Elephants shall be given a monopoly on the sale and distribution of Goats and Elephants” begins a February post by Daily Kos blogger Gangster Octopus. “Any public entity wishing to [sell or distribute goats or elephants] can only do so by [a two-thirds] vote of its jurisdiction.”

Well, the entity represented in this symbolic representation is PG&E, the utility giant that is attempting, via Proposition 16 on the June ballot, to wipe out competition for the future sale and distribution of power in California. The utility’s “Taxpayers Right to Vote Act” would make it near impossible for publicly owned utilities—such as SMUD or 70 other public utilities that are owned by local governments—to expand their terrain.

The Yes on Proposition 16 campaign boasts $15.5 million in donations so far—all from PG&E itself. And get this: The utility’s CEO, Peter Darbee, just told stockholders that the ultimate price tag may be a whopping $35 million. (Compare this to the opposition, which has so far raised $26,000!)

Proposition 16 is a preposterous attempt by a corporate giant to buy the right not to compete. Here’s hoping California’s voters see it for what it is.