In two weeks, California voters will decide whether to tag oil producers with $4 billion in new taxes to fund the research and development of alternative energy sources.
Sponsors of Proposition 87 have enlisted the help of former President Bill Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore, but critics say the measure will lead to skyrocketing gas prices.
Millions of dollars are being spent in a battle of publicity for and against the initiative. Prop 87 would put a tax on every barrel of oil pumped out of the ground in California.
That could generate about $4 billion in revenue; according to the federal government California is the nation's third largest oil producing state. The money would be used to develop alternative fuels.