November 4, 2008 Ballot Prop. 10

Proposition 10: Renewable Energy and Alternative Fuel

Official Results

Available once the California Secretary of State has certified the election. This can take up to 3 weeks or more.

Yes votes: 5,098,666 (40.5%)
No votes: 7,464,154 (59.5%)


Proposition 10 would permit $5 billion in general obligation bonds to be sold for the purpose of renewable energy, alternative fuel, and clean air emissions projects. Proposition 10 focuses on incentive programs to promote research and development of alternative fuel and renewable energy technology. The measure would also provide bond money to cities and universities for study of the technologies developed. It is expected that the state would owe approximately $9.8 billion total and would pay $325 million a year to pay back both the principal and the interest. Proposition 10 is the second measure on the November 4 ballot to focuses on alternative energy. Proposition 7 would require utilities in California to acquire 50% of their power from renewable resources by 2025.

Proposition 10

Currently, California administers different programs to promote and develop new renewable energy, alternative clean fuels and energy efficiency, and air quality projects. Many of these programs promote energy improvements by providing financial incentives in the form of loans, tax credits, grants and rebates. These programs are generally paid for through vehicle license fee revenues for the state, which are collected annually on all motor vehicles. State and local taxes provide funding as well. Some air quality programs have been paid for through the sale of general obligation bonds.

Proposition 10 would authorize the state to sell $5 billion in general obligation bonds for renewable energy, air emissions reduction, and alternative fuel programs. $3.4 billion of the funds would go to Clean Alternative Fuels Account. This money would be used for financial incentives to reduce the cost to buy or lease clean alternative fuel or high fuel economy vehicles. $1.6 billion would go the Solar, Wind, and Renewable Energy Account to fund analysis, design, development and production of renewal energy technology. The Demonstration Projects and Public Education Account along with the would be allocated $200 million, which would provide grants to eight cities for construction and use of renewable energy projects for the purposes of demonstration. Education, Training, and Out Reach Account$125 million would go to public universities and collages for training, research, development of new technology for sale in the commercial market. These funds would also be used for public outreach and education.

Several state agencies would manage the funds for different components of Proposition 10. The Air Resources Board would administer alternative-fuel research and development. The State Board of Equalization would provide alternative-fuel vehicle rebates. The California Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission would administer renewable energy incentives as well as make the appropriate funds available to cities and and higher education institutions. The agencies would conduct internal reviews of each program including annual audits and progress reports.

Key Provisions

  • $2.8 billion would be allocated for rebates on high fuel economy vehicles and clean alternative fuel vehicles. Rebates would range from $2,000 to $50,000 depending on the type of vehicle.
  • $550 million would be used for development and demonstration of alternative fuel and high fuel economy vehicles.
  • $1 billion would be allocated for financial incentives to promote research and development of electric generation technology.
  • $250 milion would be allocated for financial incentives to promote the purchase of renewable energy technology.
  • $200 million would go to grants for 8 California cities. The grant money would be used for construction and operation of renewable energy Projects that would be used for demonstrations.
  • $100 million would be spent on grants to public universities and colleges to make new alternative fuel and clean energy technology ready for sale. Funds would be used for training, research, tuition assistance, and staff development.
  • $25 million would be spent on outreach and public education on new alternative fuel and clean energy technology.
  • State and local sales tax revenues would likely increase for a nine year period under the proposition. Vehicle license fee revenues would also likely increase.
  • The Legislative Analyst estimates potential state costs of up to about $10 million annually, through about 2018 -19 for state agency administrative costs not funded by the measure.
  • The state would pay back the costs of the bonds over a 30 year period. The costs would be the $5 billion principal and $4.9 billion in interest.

Voter Information

Voter Information Guide

Campaign contributions database (Secretary of State website)

Campaign contributions database - total (Secretary of State website) Select "Nov. 2008 election" and "Prop.10" 

Public Opinon Resources

Field Polls on Proposition 10 
November 3, 2008

Non-Partisan Resources


Pros & Cons (League of Women Voters) 

Reports and Studies

Drowning in Debt: Bond Measures Threaten California’s Already Precarious Debt Situation
By Adam B. Summers and Anthony Randazzo, Reason Institute, October 2008

A Primer: The State's Infrastructure and the Use of Bonds. Sacramento: Legislative Analyst's Office, January 2006.

Audio and Video

Center for Governmental Studies
Voter Minute

Pro/Con Statements

Yes on 10 [Website archived in UCLA Online Campaign Literature Collection] No on 10 [Website archived in UCLA Online Campaign Literature Collection]