Besides the contest between Sens. McCain and Obama to see who will lead this country over the next four years, voters who go to the polls in California this November will decide if the state will fund some hefty rebates to people who buy cleaner-burning, natural gas-powered vehicles.
This story from CNNMoney.com says the proposal could help put a million vehicles on the roads running on the clean fuel:
Natural gas providers are spending millions of dollars on advertising to convince Californians to pass a ballot initiative allowing the state government to invest in the now-tiny market for natural gas-fueled cars and trucks. The push comes as gas producers, emboldened by a windfall of domestic production, press federal lawmakers to help expand the market for gas as a means for reducing dependence on foreign oil and cutting greenhouse-gas emissions.
So far no opposition has been organized against the proposal, which would authorize the state to sell $5 billion in bonds to fund rebates of $2,000 to $ 50,000 each to people who purchase natural gas-powered cars and trucks. Some of the money would be earmarked for research, development and production of renewable energy technology, and education. The plan would cost the state $9.8 billion over 30 years.
The proposition has some pretty powerful friends, including billionaire Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens, who, as you might remember from my July 8th, 2008 post, is backing a plan to ramp up the nation’s wind energy production. He believes that the wind energy will replace natural gas burning in utilities’ generators… freeing that natural gas to be burned in vehicles… freeing the U.S. from its oil addiction.