KQED Climate Watch producer Gretchen Weber mapped the Prop 23 money trail here for both sides, for all contributors which have more than $100,000 on the table. While most of the money backing Prop 23 came from Texas oil companies there are other high rolling player in the game, including high-profile venture capitalists and tech investors with open wallets.
Pro Prop 23 Investors (Click or larger image)
Con Prop 23 Investors (Click or larger image)
I use the term investors for a reason. All the big game player are heavily invested. If Prop 23 does not pass, then the oil refiners in California will have retrofit their refineries to create low carbon fuels. Fuels that have not been proven to be viable in the existing vehicles in California today, under all driving conditions. For example, vehicles burning compressed natural gas lack the necessary power in the mountains. We have no assurance that low carbon fuels will not respond in a similar way. Rebuilding refineries to produce an unproven fuel will be expensive, at a very high risk. It maybe a better business decision for the Texas refiners to just leave California and seek other markets.
The venture capitalist have made a that government subsidies will pay for their investments in alternative energy schemes. If Prop 23 removes the government mandated alternative energy requirements the venture-capitalist will lose billions, thus they are willing to spend millions to defeat Prop 23. Some of the other high value contributor are ultra rich environmentalist who have up money up the wazoo, and they just need to feel good while hob-nobing with their other rich friends at the next cocktail party. What is a few hundred thousand here or there when you have billions to spend, and need feel good moment.
My problem is that if Prop 23 does not pass it will be the tax payers who will be paying billions in carbon fee and taxes. We will be paying those subsides being sought by the venture capitalists. If they strike it rich, do you think they will be sharing their billions with the citizens who funded their alternative energy schemes. No, I did not think so either.
We the People are going to end up paying the bill for AB32 unless we take action and pass Prop 23. YES on PROP 23.