One thing I wish I’d gotten to dig into further before the election is Proposition H in California. (Our own Sara Barz covered it briefly in this post.)

The renewable mandates aren’t what interest me — it’s more the question of making PG&E a public utility.

I’m told by a friend in San Fran that this is the latest battle in a long, long war over public utilities. Apparently the act that created Hetch Hetchy also granted San Fran public power, but it was never enforced.

Now PG&E is spending something like $10 million fighting Prop H, and they’ve got San Fran power brokers like mayor Gavin Newsom on their side.

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Does public power work? My San Fran friend says yes, and points to SMUD as evidence. Then again, there’s a broad coalition fighting H, saying public power will mean higher prices, worse service, etc.

Here’s the Yes on H page. Here’s the No on H page. [UPDATE: Oops! That’s the wrong No on H page, against a Prop H from 2005. The right No on H page is here: Stop the Blank Check.]

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As you can tell, I’m basically ignorant on this, and would love feedback from all you smart Grist readers. Educate me. Perhaps I’ll dig into it more post-election.

UPDATE: An ingenious Yes on H video: