Proposition 23 got a stay of execution with 60% of Californians favoring the Global Warming Solutions Act. California voters see themselves as responsible environmental advocates and thus are emotionally and–some say—spiritually tied to anything green.
There is much to admire in this willingness to lead rather than follow. California’s leadership in energy efficiency, as one example, has succeeded beyond all expectations in reducing the energy intensity of the state to 50% of the national average.
But Politico reports that in the rest of the country 30 House members who voted for Waxman-Markey were defeated Tuesday. With even a growing number of Democrats lining up against Cap and trade legislation and Senator-elect from West Virginia won a tight race by running a commercial using his gun to shoot a hole through Waxman-Markey nailed to a Mountaineer tree.
I don’t think California is going to get much help with AB32 from Congress. And to make matters worse, several states are lined up to sue California over AB32 because, they allege, just like ObamaCare, AB32 violates the interstate commerce clause of the US Constitution by imposing California terms and conditions on out of state power producers and manufacturers.
And California voters also approved Proposition 26 which reclassifies administrative impact fees like those the California Air Resources Board expects to use to enforce AB32 as “taxes” and thus subjects them to the same 2/3 vote or voter referendum as increases in income or sales taxes.
Jerry Brown said it best in his remarks after the election summarizing the voters message. He said California voters believe in creating a clean energy economy but they also said loud and clear that the state should take it hand out of our pocket.
It won’t be easy being green even though Proposition 23 was defeated.