Here are the five reasons why we need to defeat Proposition K:
1. It mandates an expansion of our City government that would cost over $154 million plus $4.1 million per year, establishing a new climate ministry with hegemonic powers that would serve absolutely no practical purpose while increasing our property tax, which is already the highest among major Texas cities.
2. It orders the City to “employ all available efforts to convert El Paso Electric to municipal ownership” even though we are talking about a publicly traded corporation with a valuation above $8 billion, about eight times our City’s annual budget.
3. Under Section 9.2(E) of the proposed ordinance, the “fossil fuel industry” is broadly defined to include scores of local companies, including businesses that “assist” the fossil fuel industry. Section 9.12-2 would deny City water to any such businesses outside our city limits that do not have a contract with our water company (nearly all of them) and employ “all available methods for canceling such contracts” to two of our four local power stations, significantly decreasing our power generation capacity.
4. Sunrise El Paso is a chapter of the national Sunrise Movement, which in addition to promoting the Green New Deal also advocates for things that have nothing to do with climate, such as defunding police departments, “Palestinian liberation,” and deepening our ties with China. Their position statement on the GOP compares Republicans to fascists and Nazis and their social media platforms include angry rants against “capitalists” that are filled with expletives. These are undeniable facts that anyone can verify and that, yes, matter to voting El Pasoans!
5. El Paso Electric has the same ultimate goal as Sunrise El Paso, to achieve 100% renewable energy production by 2045, but without expanding government or damaging our economy to get there. El Paso Electric just purchased a 100% stake in the largest solar plant in New Mexico, providing enough power for 60,000 homes. We do not need a Climate Department because, quite simply, it is totally unnecessary.
I have followed the public statements of the local Sunrise leaders and other supporters of Proposition K and have concluded that these people have zero financial acumen, no understanding of its potential impact on local businesses, no sympathy for the many people in our community who would stand to lose their jobs, and no empathy for the hundreds of thousands who would face higher electric bills and diminished service.
They always express their support in the abstract, without any business plan or even a basic understanding of how our economy works, while accusing their opponents of scare tactics, fear-mongering, climate-denial, or of siding with the Chamber of Commerce and El Paso Electric.
They insist that Proposition K will create jobs and lower our electric bills as if those things will happen simply because they will them to happen or because some technocrat with a PhD says so.
The more than one hundred chapters of the national Sunrise Movement voted to make Proposition K in El Paso a top priority because they believe they can finally see the Green New Deal, an astronomically expensive utopian pipedream that is totally unmoored from reality, implemented in a major American city.
I have no doubt that, if passed, Proposition K would be litigated out of existence by the energy industry and/or the state of Texas or that one of the House or Senate bills currently under consideration in Austin would render it illegal.
Nevertheless, let’s save ourselves the headache and vote HELL NO on Proposition K!
Remember also to vote YES on Proposition J, so that the City Auditor will report to City Council rather than the City Manager.
Early voting begins tomorrow and election day is May 6.
Que tengan un feliz domingo,
Photo credit: KFOX14.