Thursday, July 21, 2005

Energy Industry wants to scuttle ballot measure

Generally in California, there is a bias to "let the people decide" but energy industry officials believe the matter is not appropriate to be in the hands of the voters.

Lawyers for an energy-industry trade group argued Wednesday before a state appeals court that Proposition 80 should be taken off the Nov. 8 special election ballot.

The Independent Energy Producers Association opposes the measure because it would limit retail power sales by non-utilities. The group is trying to get it thrown off the ballot on a legal technicality: The group's lawyers told the California 3rd District Court of Appeal that the measure should be written as an amendment to the state constitution rather than as just a change in state law.

Attorneys for The Utility Reform Network, the San Francisco-based consumer group that sponsored the initiative, argued that voters don't have to amend the state constitution to change the rules governing power sales.

It seems with ballot measures, be it on Energy Regulation or Redistricting, it's in many cases the judges, not the people, who decide.