Hopefully you have your General Election Voter Information Guide handy, because I don't have links readily to each of the propositions. I am instead going to presume you have the guide nearby for reference, or have already read or have heard something on them.
This Proposition is one of many efforts to create a State Energy and Air Quality Program. This particular one proposes that $5 Billion in General Obligation Bonds be sold ($5 Billion loaned, totaling $10 Billion repaid) on a comprehensive effort to improve our energy use and air quality over the next 10 years (2009 - 2019). Itemized breakdown of how the $5 Billion is listed in the measure. Among those areas receiving monies would be consumers (in form of rebate) who purchase a new alternative fuel/energy vehicle (hybrid, electric, natural gas, ethanol, bio-diesel, etc); Programs/companies researching alternative energy and clean fuel; community colleges, colleges, and universities that research and educate for profession in the field of alternative energy and clean fuel. Additionally built into this measure is specific mention independent auditing and reporting of monies used and/or distributed as well as progress and results of research done.
Opponents to this proposition argue that this measure is only on the ballot due to the deep pockets and influence of a single man - a Texas oil tycoon. They further argue that this man's company stands first in line, should this measure pass, to apply and receive funds out of the $5 Billion, and that the measure needs stricter policy on guaranteed results. The measure doesn't state anywhere that research must be done within the CA State limits, and according to what I have read, independent auditors have the right to decide if funding to any school, group, or party will continue to receive funding based on progress and/or results.
Proponents of this measure argue that this proposition will not raise taxes. While there is no mention of change to taxation of any sort, this measure does not restrict auto dealers from padding the price of alternative fuel vehicles in direct result to the rebates available to the consumer. Any increase to the sticker price of these vehicles would change the taxation (sales tax) of the vehicle. Nothing in this measure would change registration, nor licensing fees, for any vehicle though.
Neither side of the argument is giving us the whole story here, but neither has a terribly strong argument against the opposite side either. The bottom line is this: research and development of sensible and reliable alternatives MUST be done, and it will be expensive, yet invaluable when breakthroughs and real results are found. We cannot continue as we have. Things must change.
Weigh the positive against the negative. Vote your conscience, but absolutely do vote.