Proposition 87, a California ballot proposal which taxes oil drilling and uses the revenue for alternatiive energy projects, is the subject of a Time magazine online article. Polls are showing that its pretty much a dead heat – supporters include Bill Clinton and Al Gore, Google founder Larry Page, and the usual Hollywood luminaries, while the opponents are led by the Oil companies, most notably Chevron and Aera Energy. The rhetoric is heating up. “Aren’t gas prices high enough?”, asks the Oil company ad, while an ad for Prop 87 shows an angry Middle Eastern mob burning an American Flag with the voiceover – “We buy their oil, they burn our flag.” In Al Gore’s spot, he says, the sooner California passes Proposition 87, “the safer we’ll be.”
What’s interesting about Prop 87 is while Texas and Alaska already have a tax on oil extraction, Prop 87 uses the money to fund alternative energy projects. The amount of the tax will vary between 1.5% to 6% depending on the price of global crude. Proceeds from the tax will be limited to $4 billion, and there are provisions in the tax to prevent oil companies from passing the tax onto consumers.
You can read the full Time article here