California has recently been in forefront in the battle against climate change with a landmark legislation to cut green house gas emissions by 25% over the next 15 years. This is also expected to decrease emissions to the 1990 level.
Proposition 87 is another step in the right direction. This would establish a $4bn program to reduce petroleum consumption by 25%, by providing research and production incentives for alternative energy technologies. Funding for this program would come from a tax of 1.5% to 6% (depending on oil price per barrel) on producers of oil extracted in California. The proposition explicitly prohibits producers from passing tax to consumers.
Naturally, this has gotten the oil companies into a tizzy and they are sparing no expense to discredit the proposition. After all, $10bn in quarterly profits only goes so far these days!