Biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel took a knock in the recent mid-term elections with the defeat of Proposition 87 in California. This was a plan to tax California's oil producers and use the money to fund alternative energy. The idea was also to cut gasoline consumption by 25% in the state, it was to be levied on oil extracted in the state and the oil companies themselves would have to pay it. The Proposition had some pretty high profile supporters, including Vinod Kholsa and a veritable galaxy of Hollywood stars and starletts
So does it matter that it failed it depends who you ask...
The John and Ken show puts it like this
Proposition 87, was defeated 55 percent to 45 percent with 90 percent of Tuesday’s votes counted—despite support from Bill Clinton, Al Gore and such Hollywood stars as Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt.Proposition 87 was portrayed as a battle between liberal Hollywood and Big Oil in a state that has long blazed a trail in environmental causes and has one of the most aggressive greenhouse gas reduction laws in the world. . .
The Cut oil Imports blog thinks it might for US legislators now the dust is settling after the election
Californians rejected Proposition 87. This legislation would have taxed Californian oil production to fund alternative energy projects. If the most liberal (er… I mean environmentally friendly) state will not pass new taxes to fund alternative energy then the Democrats in Congress may have to think of ways to shift money from other sources versus just raising gasoline/carbon taxes.
According to Alternative Energy Stocks, blog
Unfortunately for Khosla and his bunch, California voters defeated Proposition 87 at the ballot box on Tuesday. Unsurprisingly, this had no impact on the market value of the alternative energy sector on Wednesday. Unsurprisingly because California remains one of the hottest, if not the hottest, alternative energy spots in the world, Proposition 87 or not.
Only a few weeks ago, the California Legislature passed bill SB107 requiring investor-owned utilities to achieve a 20% renewable electricity portfolio by 2011. This represents one of the most ambitious such targets in the world, moving the 20% goal, which already existed under another program, from 2017 to 2011. What’s more, SB107 allows, for the first time, trading of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) between power producers, introducing a necessary layer of flexibility and efficiency in the system. This could be one of the most important such initiatives in the US, covering upwards of 10,000 MW
It is good to see California getting into carbon trading in this way, I wonder if Californian Carbon credits are the same as Kyoto carbon credits...
Cake or Death (good name for a blog... give me cake or... ) wondered
Al Gore got the no vote again as the Alternative Energy (Prop 87) bill that would increase taxes on oil companies appears to be losing. You've got to wonder if having Gore and Clinton in ads for this one helped or hurt...
Up beat EnergyOutlook says;
...biofuels look like the big winner. While efforts to add to domestic oil production are likely to stall, aggressive promotion of ethanol and biodiesel will enjoy strong bi-partisan support and seems unlikely to attract a veto. Look for more generous incentives for ethanol, including tax breaks for E85 infrastructure. Still, the defeat of Proposition 87 in California, the largest "blue state", sends some kind of signal about how alternative energy should be funded.
If the US is committed to biofuels like ethanol an biodiesel then legislators legislators have to find innovative ways to fund research and will need a clearer declaration of aims than 87 proposed.