At first glance, California seems like the greenest state in the union. Last week, the state’s voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 39, which will close a business tax loophole and send billions to clean energy programs. This week, the state is holding the first auction under its landmark cap-and-trade program. Reuters reports that California is “poised to double down on its investments” in the clean energy sector

“We put our money where our mouths are,” said Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, the agency charged with implementing the state’s cap-and-trade system.

“We back up what we do in regulation by shifting subsidies from things that pollute and are inefficient to things that are more efficient and make our state more resilient,” she said …

California has long been a bellwether for efforts by states and local governments eager to address climate change. In 2006, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill that requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. That law survived a challenge at the polls two years ago, when Californians overwhelmingly defeated an oil industry-backed measure to roll it back.

Hearings will begin in January on how exactly to spend the cash generated by Prop 39, some of which is specifically set aside for “new private sector jobs improving the energy efficiency of commercial and residential buildings” and job training “on energy efficiency and clean energy projects.”

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California: Where solar sprawls as much as the suburbs.

So yes, California is pretty great! But as any Golden State resident could tell you, this is a complicated place full of contradictions. A defeated GMO labeling billPoisoned water. And so, so many cars.

While Californians may be progressive in some respects, we’re still clinging to the suburban dream. A recent report by Arthur C. Nelson for the Urban Land Institute argues that Californians are gravitating toward smaller lots and multi-family living, but demographer Wendell Cox disagrees. He finds that the California dream hasn’t changed much over the last 60 years.