Two energy-related initiatives have now entered circulation and they will have to collect enough signatures by November to qualify for the ballot. The first is a measure that would target California’s two nuclear power plants under an initiative being called the “Nuclear Waste Act of 2012.” This measure would essentially shut down the two plants until the federal government can store radioactive waste from nuclear power.
The official ballot title and description are as follows:
NUCLEAR POWER. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Extends statutory preconditions, currently applicable to new operation of any nuclear powerplant, to existing Diablo Canyon and San Onofre operations. Before further electricity production at these plants, requires California Energy Commission to find federal government has approved technology for permanent disposal of high-level nuclear waste. For nuclear powerplants requiring reprocessing of fuel rods, requires Commission to find federal government has approved technology for nuclear fuel rod reprocessing plants. Both findings are subject to Legislature’s rejection. Further requires Commission to find on case-by-case basis facilities will be available with adequate capacity to reprocess or store powerplant’s fuel rods. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Likely major impacts on state and local finances in the near term in the form of decreased revenues and increased costs, potentially in the billions of dollars annually, due to near-term disruptions in the state's electricity system and electricity price increases. The magnitude of these impacts would depend on the time to develop replacement power, the frequency and duration of rolling blackouts, and various related factors, such as electricity demand and weather conditions. Potential avoidance of significant future state and local government costs and lost revenues in the rare event of a major nuclear plant incident.
Read more here.
The second initiative to enter circulation would impose a tax on oil and natural gas extracted in California and the revenue would go to taxpayers. The official ballot title and description read as follows:
TAX ON CALIFORNIA OIL AND NATURAL GAS. REVENUES TO CALIFORNIA TAXPAYERS. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Imposes 25% tax on value of oil and natural gas extracted in California. Distributes $380 annually to California taxpayers earning $95,000 or less. Distributes additional $50 to California residents over 65 who are U.S. citizens and registered to vote. Specifies record-keeping, monitoring, and reporting requirements for hydraulic fracturing, an extraction technique involving pressurized injection of water and chemicals underground. Increases criminal and civil penalties for violations of laws governing oil and gas well operations, inspections, and reports. Prohibits passing tax on to consumers through higher fuel prices. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Annual state revenue of $3 billion to $7 billion (depending on oil prices) from new severance tax to fund approximately $5 billion of payments to individuals. The measure does not specify what would happen if available severance tax funds are insufficient to make the required payments. Decreased collections of various other state and local revenues totaling tens of millions or a few hundred million dollars per year due to financial changes related to the severance tax. This potentially could be offset by increases in some other revenues. Increased state administrative costs of several million dollars annually to administer this measure. These costs would be paid from the revenues of the oil severance tax and the increased fines in this measure.
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