California Proposition 10, Alternative Fuels Initiative (2008)

From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 10:58, 20 September 2012 by Bailey Ludlam (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
California Proposition 10, also known as the California Alternative Fuels Initiative or the Pickens Plan, was on the November 4, 2008 ballot in California as an initiated state statute, where it was defeated.

If Proposition 10 had been approved, it would have allowed the State of California to sell $5 billion in general obligation bonds for a variety of renewable energy, alternative fuel, energy efficiency, and air emissions reduction purposes.

Proposition 10's opponents spent less than 1% as much as Proposition 10's supporters. It was one of two ballot initiatives focusing on alternative fuels to appear on the November 4 ballot in California. The other was Proposition 7 and it, too, was rejected by voters.

Election results

California Proposition 10, Alternative Fuels Initiative
Defeatedd No7,464,15459.5%
Yes 5,098,666 40.5%

Turnout: 79.4% of registered These final election results are from the California Secretary of State's election results page.

17,304,091 California residents were registered to vote as November 4, 2008, out of the 23,208,710 who were eligible to register. 13,743,177 of these registered voters, or 79.42%, cast a ballot. The 12,562,820 votes cast for Proposition 10 came to 72.6% of registered voters.

Text of measure


The ballot title was:

Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Renewable Energy. Bonds. Initiative Statute.


The official summary provided to describe Proposition 10 said:

  • Provides $3.425 billion to help consumers and others purchase certain high fuel economy or alternative fuel vehicles, including natural gas vehicles, and to fund research into alternative fuel technology.
  • Provides $1.25 billion for research, development and production of renewable energy technology, primarily solar energy with additional funding for other forms of renewable energy; incentives for purchasing solar and renewable energy technology.
  • Provides grants to cities for renewable energy projects and to colleges for training in renewable and energy efficiency technologies.
  • Total funding provided is $5 billion from general obligation bonds.

Fiscal impact

See also: Fiscal impact statement

The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:

  • State costs of about $10 billion over 30 years to pay off both the principal ($5 billion) and interest ($5 billion) costs of the bonds. Payments of about $335 million per year.
  • Increase in state sales tax revenues of an unknown amount, potentially totaling in the tens of millions of dollars, over the period from 2009 to about 2019.
  • Increase in local sales tax and vehicle license fee revenues of an unknown amount, potentially totaling in the tens of millions of dollars, over the period from 2009 to about 2019.
  • Potential state costs of up to about $10 million annually, through about 2019, for state agency administrative costs not funded by the measure.



  • American Cancer Society, California Division
  • South Coast Air Quality Management District
  • T. Boone Pickens
  • Allison Hart, Mitzi Dudley and Thomas Daly filed the initial ballot language.
  • Assorted politicians including Barack Obama mentioned that they support the efforts of T. Boone Pickens.

Arguments in favor

The main arguments offered in favor of Proposition 10 included:

  • The funding it provides will allow the generation of electricity from renewable sources, and provide consumer rebates for the purchase or lease of "clean alternative fuel vehicles".
  • The funding will allow the replacement of older polluting diesel trucks with clean alternative fuel trucks and provide for research into alternative fuels.
  • The proposal will reduce dependence on foreign fuel and stop US dollars from going to hostile foreign governments.
  • The diesel trucks that could be replaced produce dangerous pollution.
  • Significant improvement in California Air quality, reduction of Air Pollution.
  • Will provide earth-friendly and cheaper alternatives to high-priced gasoline.[1]

Donors and Boone Pickens

Boone Pickens

$22,720,573 was contributed to the campaign in favor of a "yes" vote on Proposition 10.[2]

Donors of $50,000 or more were:

Donor Amount
Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (originally called "Pickens Fuel") $18,647,250
Chesapeake Energy $3,000,000
Aubrey McClendon $500,000
Westport Fuel Systems $250,000

Donor notes:

  • Todd Campbell, Clean Energy's public policy director, in response to criticisms about CLNE sponsoring Proposition 10 because of potential benefits to the company told an 'Associated Press reporter, "I don’t think it’s a given that Clean Energy is going to cash in. I wish it were that simple."[6]


Consultants who worked on the "yes" campaign included:



The group "No on Proposition 10, Californians against the $10 Billion Lemon" formed and registered with the California Secretary of State.[8]

Arguments against

  • Would require taking $10 billion out of the state's general fund over a 30 year period.
  • There are relatively few mechanics who know how to fix natural-gas engines and few filling stations offer natural gas.


$173,218 was contributed to the campaign in favor of a "no" vote on Proposition 10.[9]

Donors of $10,000 or more were:

Donor Amount
California School Employees Association $50,000
Consumer Federation of California $47,994
California Nurses Association $40,000
AFSCME $25,000
California Federation of Teachers $10,000


2008 propositions
Flag of California.png
February 5
Proposition 91Proposition 92
Proposition 93Proposition 94
Proposition 95Proposition 96
Proposition 97
June 3
Proposition 98Proposition 99
November 4
Proposition 1AProposition 2
Proposition 3Proposition 4
Proposition 5Proposition 6
Proposition 7Proposition 8
Proposition 9Proposition 10
Proposition 11Proposition 12
Local measures
See also Polls, 2008 ballot measures.
Month of Poll Pollster In favor Opposed Undecided
October 2008 Field 49 percent 39 percent 12 percent[10]

Editorial opinion

"Yes on 10"

  • The Bay Area Reporter[11]

"No on 10"

  • Contra Costa Times[11]
  • The Los Angeles Times editorialized against Proposition 10, saying, "Spending bond money on something as intangible as privately owned vehicles is a terrible idea unless there is a clear public benefit."[12] The Santa Monica Mirror said, "Self-serving Proposition 10 sounds good, should lose".[13]
  • Oakland Tribune[11]
  • Orange County Register[11]
  • Riverside Press-Enterprise[11]
  • Sacramento Bee[11]
  • San Diego Union-Tribune[11]
  • The San Francisco Chronicle was opposed, writing, "The chief backer and bill payer for the measure is T. Boone Pickens, the folksy Texas oilman and apostle for energy independence who founded a firm that just happens to supply natural gas for cars and trucks".[14]
  • San Jose Mercury News[11]

Path to the ballot

See also: California signature requirements

As an initiated state statute, 433,971 signatures were required to qualify Proposition 10 for the ballot.

Proposition 10 was qualified for the ballot through a petition drive conducted by Progressive Campaigns, Inc., at a cost of $2,418,178 and Forde and Mollrich, which was paid $660,084 for signatures. The total signature cost was $3,078,263.[15]

See also: California ballot initiative petition signature costs

External links

Suggest a link


Additional reading: