The top five stories of the year for climate hawks
3. California zags
As national political tides pushed in the direction of ignorance and delay, California pushed back, reaffirming its commitment to a bright green future. Prop 23, which would have destroyed the state’s pioneering climate program, AB 32, was resoundingly rejected by voters. The campaign against Prop 23 had everything the national campaign for cap-and-trade lacked: a simple story of good guys vs. bad guys, competitive funding, and a coalition both broad and deep.
Not only did Golden Staters reject 23, they reelected climate champion Barbara Boxer and Governor Moonbeam himself, Jerry Brown, who’d been out of the governor’s mansion since 1983. They put green champ Gavin Newsom in the lieutenant governor’s office and gave a thumbs-up to Prop 25, which would give Cali’s legislature the long-overdue power to pass a state budget on a majority vote.
The only turd in California’s green punchbowl was the passage of Prop 26, which would put a supermajority requirement on any attempt to raise fees in the state — depending on who you ask, that might cripple efforts to implement AB 32.
Voters also rejected pot-legalizing Prop 19, so anti-23 campaigners weren’t able to spark up to celebrate their victory. Oh, who are we kidding, of course they did.