Prop 7 Supporters Strike Conciliatory Tone

Environmentalists on both sides believe a comprehensive plan is needed

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- Win or lose, say Proposition 7 supporters, the discussion has begun.

What will renewable energy efforts look like in the future? Can California lead the nation -- or the world -- into a new age of high-tech solar, wind and other non-petroleum-based sources?

Prop 7 seeks to force the issue, in a sense, mandating that utilities get fifty percent of their power from renewable sources by 2025.

With voter numbers still not fully reported, both sides of the "renewable energy" debate say they are willing to re-visit the issue, regardless of where tonight's vote goes.

"This debate over Prop Seven, I think, has contributed mightily to California focusing on the need to raise the bar and move faster," said David Freeman, a former utility company chief and prominent proponent of the measure.

From the "No on Prop 7" side, David Pettit of the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental organization, said, "Let's work together next year. Let's get it fixed and fixed in a way that works."

Pettit called the measure's intent "laudible," but said, "it's so badly written, it's going to make it harder -- not easier -- to get more renewable energy, which is what we need in California."

Freeman bristles at the suggestion, which has been a repeated theme in ads against 7.

"To say something is 'not well written,'" he said, "...give me a break. We put seven hundred billion dollars in a bailout package and nobody even read the darned thing."

Freeman pointed out that most utility codes are, by definition, "badly written," filled with arcane terms that most people outside the industry cannot understand.

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