Environment

Old Industry v. New Industry in California's Prop 23 Battle

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyOct 25, 2010 6:29 PM

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Following on my Apple v. ExxonMobil post from last week, here's more fodder. Bill Gates and Sergey Brin are now financial backers of the campaign to defeat Prop 23 in California; while "68 investors managing $415 billion in assets, including venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and VantagePoint Venture Partners," have also signaled their opposition. Why so much corporate and big money opposition to a ballot initiative that is being pushed by industrial powerhouses? Simple: Prop 23 will give an economic advantage to old industry--dirty fossil fuel companies--while squelching opportunity for new industry--including clean energy and solar companies. In other words, this isn't an issue of industry vs the environment. Far from it. It's an issue of the past versus the future--old dirty companies like Valero and Tesoro versus the fortunes that are yet to be made in clean energy. I'll say it again--when we have a solar company that's worth as much as ExxonMobil, I'm quite confident our politics will change.

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