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The Two Faces of PG&E

Funny how the public face of a corporation can quickly change.

Just a little more than a month ago San Francisco-base Pacific Gas and Electric was dealt a major fiscal and public relations setback with the defeat of Proposition 16.

If passed, 16 would have made it next to impossible for municipalities to organize not-for-profit utilities. Even though PG&E sponsored the initiative and funded a $46 million dollar advertising against opponents who had only $100,000 in campaign funds, voters did not take the bait and defeated what many voters viewed as an anti-consumer initiative.

PG& was roundly criticized for their power grab, if you’ll excuse the pun. But now many of those who criticized the investor owned utility, are just as likely to praise it.

Prop 23 - The anti-AB32 initiative

In recent days PG&E has come out against Proposition 23 that will appear on this November's ballot that seeks to effectively roll back California’s landmark clean air and global warming legislation, AB32.

PG&E, which has invested heavily in green energy sources, would benefit in coming years from the implementation of AB32. Likewise, if Prop 23 wins, much of PG&E’s investment could be for naught.

Proponents of Prop 23, led by Linda Republican Assembly Member Dan Logue and financed by the deep-wallets of Texas-based oil refiner Valero Energy, are losing in the early polls. According to recently conducted Field Poll, only 36% of voters favor Logue’s Prop 23 while a solid 48 % opposing rolling back clean air standards.

Closer to home, Democratic Assembly Member Alyson Huber of El Dorado Hills recently said during an Elk Grove town hall meeting she had not taken a position on Prop 23. Locked in what will surely be another close election for the 10th Assembly district with Republican opponent Jack Sieglock, Huber seemingly didn’t want to give her opponent an opening.

Hopefully Huber can read the tea leaves and take a definitive stance to defend AB32. Don't be scared by the fear tactics of Logue, Sieglock, Valero energy and all the others spreading fear.

As for PG&E, we hope their support isn’t a jinx.

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