Clean Energy Background

Global Exchange was active during the energy crisis in 2000-2001, calling for public power and an end to the manipulation of our energy system by corporate powers such as Enron. When President George W. Bush visited California, the media widely covered our protests demanding energy price caps.

Watch a clip from the Daily Show about the energy crisis (start after minute 2:00), which highlights a Global Exchange rally in southern California:

Due to the national securities issues following in the wake of September 11th, 2001, public interest in local energy issues dropped. Global Exchange focused its efforts on educational outreach, highlighting the link between US oil needs and the war as well as global warming impacts. We began the “Freedom from Oil” campaign, which focuses on reducing the consumption of energy in the transportation sector. We also began to promote green alternatives through the Green Festival, where speakers and exhibitors promoted renewable energy products. Global Exchange was also an active participant in the student climate movement with Energy Action.

In 2008, Global Exchange campaigned for Proposition H, which called for San Francisco to transition to 100% renewable energy within 30 years. Prop H was defeated, in large part because of the funds Pacific Gas & Electric allocated to campaign against the proposition.

Since 2008, the Clean Energy Program has worked to broaden people’s awareness of careers in the growing green economy. The Green Careers Program placed interns with a variety of green businesses. Through a partnership with TrainGreenSF, we have helped prepare members of the work force for careers in the green industry and then placed them with a number of green businesses. With contacts in local green businesses and connections in the local community, we have worked hard to promote the green workforce as a means to accelerate local green energy economies.

Most recently, in November 2010, Global Exchange was a vocal participant in the campaigns against Proposition 23 and Proposition 26.

Proposition 23, a ballot measure on November 2, 2010, was a grave threat to California’s leadership in advancing clean energy and addressing climate change. Oil companies and big polluter companies spent millions in an effort to pass Proposition 23 and block California’s Global Warming Solutions Act. Thankfully, the residents of California rallied together and defeated the proposition. Global Exchange acknowledges and thanks every resident who stepped up to say “no” to Prop 23.

Proposition 26, another corporate-polluter backed ballot measure on November 2, 2010, sought to increase the voting threshold in the legislature to a two-thirds majority in order to pass new fees against corporate polluters. As with Prop 23, California voters turned down Prop 26.

For more information, contact June Brashares by email at or by phone at 415.255.7296 x253.


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