AirTalk for May 21, 2010

Prop 16 debate: regulating electricity service

Mercer 7911

David McNew/Getty Images

A view of the power lines as evening settles December 11, 2000 in Pico Rivera, CA.

On June 8, California voters will decide how their electricity service is controlled with Proposition 16. If passed, it would require two-thirds voter approval before local governments use public funds to start a municipal utility or expand the service areas of existing utilities. The vote requirement also would apply to starting "community choice aggregation" programs, which allow local governments to buy electricity on the wholesale market and set rates for residents. Supporters of Prop. 16 say that it will give voters a say in how local districts spend their tax money. Opponents argue that it is an effort to monopolize the industry from Pacific Gas & Electric, which has paid nearly $35 million in support of the measure. Larry Mantle hears arguments from both sides of the debate.

Guests:

Robin Swanson, Spokesperson for the Yes on Prop 16 campaign

Mark Toney, Executive Director of The Utility Reform Network (TURN). He serves on the Steering Committee of No on Prop. 16


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