To the Journal editor:
I'm writing to urge your readers to vote yes on Proposal 3, the ballot initiative to require electricity providers to increase the use of renewable energy sources to 25 percent by 2025. Although many who oppose Prop 3 have brought up some good points in recent letters, breaking the grip on the legislative process held by the fossil fuel industry requires urgent action.
Some claim the backers of Prop 3 have no "plan" on how to increase the use of renewables. Well, before the Sputnik launch in October 1957, the U.S. had no plan on how to land a man on the moon but we accomplished that goal in less than 12 years during a less advanced time almost half a century ago. In fact, the technology to harness energy from renewables exists - we just need to make a commitment to mass production.
One TV commercial complains the renewable energy technologies we adopt today will be obsolete by 2025. However, there is no requirement in Prop 3 for the use of any particular renewable energy source. So, these claims are baseless.
Others lament the potential costs of using more renewables. While the development of any new products/services does require an up-front investment, the long-term savings of using less polluting, more environmentally-friendly energy sources; importing fewer fossil fuels like coal; and the creation of more in-state jobs to build a new energy infrastructure will offset much of this expense.
Prop 3 also limits the potential increase in electricity rates to accomplish the goal of using more renewables to no more than 1 percent. There is no excuse a technologically advanced society like ours continues to burn highly-polluting fossil fuels as done for hundreds of years.
The only reason I believe this is so is because fossil fuel industries do not want to encourage the expansion of wind, solar, and geothermal energy sources because these "green" energy sources might become available for free to consumers if the delivery systems become more advanced, mass produced, and installed at individual homes.
These industries have used their financial clout to delay innovation and maintain their profitable stranglehold on energy resources.
Let's start to break this hold by voting yes on Prop 3.