On a day when supporters of climate legislation were defeated in races across the U.S., California voters soundly rejected a measure that would have suspended an ambitious state law to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The ballot initiative, known as Proposition 23, was funded largely by oil companies and would have put on hold a law requiring the state to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
With nearly half of the state’s precincts reporting, the initiative received support from only 41 percent of voters, with 59 percent voting “no.”
Environmental groups and clean energy investors waged a $31.2 million campaign to defeat Proposition 23, calling it a threat to the state’s green technology sector. “This is a reaffirmation that we are a country of some enlightenment,” said Michael Eckhart, president of the American Council on Renewable Energy.
Supporters of Proposition 23 — which would have suspended the climate law until state unemployment remained below 5.5 percent for one year (it currently stands at 12 percent) — said the initiative would have helped reverse a steep rise in energy costs.