Calif. Voters May Consider Alt-Fuel Initiative in Nov.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. --- Backers of a new California ballot initiative campaign hope to fund a variety of alternative energy programs with a new tax on oil drilled in the state. The initiative, which seeks to generate as much as $380 million annually, is targeted for the November ballot.Hollywood producer Steven Bing and venture capitalist Vinod Khosla are bankrolling the initiative campaign, the Los Angeles Times reported today. If approved, the initiative would amend the state constitution. A coalition of oil companies and anti-tax groups has begun organizing to oppose the plan.Petitions to qualify the proposal for the ballot are expected to begin circulating next week, the Times reported. To qualify for the ballot, the petitions must attract the signatures of about 600,000 registered voters. The proposal is dubbed the Clean Alternative Energy Act.If approved by voters, the initiative would create a new agency that would earmark 60 percent of the money for programs aimed at developing alternative vehicles and fuels. About 27 percent would be funneled to California universities for energy research. The remaining tax monies would largely go toward helping companies introduce new fuel-efficient products on the market, according to the L.A. Times.