The best climate and clean energy news to come out of yesterday's election is that California voters roundly rejected Proposition 23, a ballot initiative sponsored by out-of-state oil companies that would have overturned the state's 2006 climate law. It serves as a resounding referendum on California's trailblazing commitment to clean energy and climate action -- and is a major victory for clean energy supporters in the face of a well-funded campaign by fossil fuel interests. With 93% of precincts reporting, Prop 23 has been rejected by a pretty wide margin: 61% voted against it, and 39% in favor. Here's the LA Times:
In 2006, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill aimed at rolling back the state's greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020 ... This year, a coalition of business groups funded largely by money from out-of-state oil companies, spent millions trying to roll back the law. But the efforts were opposed by Schwarzenegger, environmental groups and California voters, who overwhelmingly rejected the ballot measure Tuesday.Despite the 'Yes on Prop 23' campaign having over $8 million in funding from the Texas oil companies Valero and Tesoro, and millions more from the Kansas-based fossil fuel company Koch industries, supporters of California's nascent clean energy sector joined forces to defeat it.
Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, leaders in Silicon Valley, youth activists, climate action groups, Democrats, and moderate Republicans all opposed the proposition, and helped seal its decisive defeat. Prop 23 received its strongest support, aside from fossil fuel industries, from the activist Tea Party in California. The 'No on 23' campaign actually ended up raising more funds than its opponent, largely from venture capitalists and donors who back the cleantech industry.
The defeat of Prop 23 allows California to prove to the rest of the nation that having good clean energy and climate laws won't crash its economy -- and show that it's possible to reduce emissions, stimulate innovation, and create jobs at the same time.
More on Prop 23
California's Proposition 23 : A Cunning Effort to Kill Clean Energy ...
Schwarzenegger Blasts "Black Oil Hearts" of Prop 23 Backers
Spread the Word on Prop 23 With These Compelling Videos From SHFT