3 Nov 2010

Prop 23’s resounding defeat in California is a credible omen for clean energy

Written by Jim Pierobon

In what was THE most important issue or candidate on any ballot anywhere in the U.S. this Election Day affecting America’s energy future, the failure of Proposition 23 in California and how it went down is proof energy consumers see the value of energy efficiency and cleaner energy sources — even if it means they’ll pay slightly higher prices.

Prop 23 reportedly was defeated 61% to 39% of the votes cast.

By around 6 p.m. PDT Wednesday, Nov. 3, news organizations in California were reporting 61% of those voting opposed the measure with the other 39% favored it. Proponents conceded defeat early Wednesday morning.

Passage of Prop 23 would have meant that California’s global warming laws and regulations would have to be suspended until the state’s unemployment rate — currently 12.4%, drops to 5.5% or less for four consecutive quarters.  That hasn’t happened since 1980.

Tracking polls by the Los Angeles Times suggested the Vote No campaigns succeeded in being labeled only a liberal, environmental cause.  Tracking polls pointed to a significant number of moderate and liberal Republicans who opposed the measure.  They also pointed to more than 1 out of 4 voters who intended to support GOP candidates Meg Whitman (for Governor) and Carly Fiorina (for Senator) would vote no on Prop 23. (Both Whitman and Fiorina lost.)

George Shultz, Secretary of State under Ronald Reagen, was a campaign co-chair along with San Francisco hedge fund manager Tom Seyer. See TheEnergyFix post September 9 for what victory would have meant and the October 21 post for the largest financial contributors to the YES and NO campaigns.

Jerry Brown’s return to the statehouse as Governor bodes well for energy and environmental initiatives provided the case can be made they will create jobs.

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