-The opinions are the author’s own-
California voters on Tuesday rejected a measure to suspend the state’s innovative climate change law. But the state’s emission trading scheme has been substantially diluted to buy off opposition from energy-intensive industries and allay fears about job losses.
If it is true that “as California goes, so goes the nation”, the past 10 days have confirmed the lack of political support for tough emissions curbs.
The survival of California’s cap-and-trade scheme has kept alive hopes for enacting a patchwork of state and regional schemes in the absence of a federal program. Supporters hope establishing even a diluted system will lay the groundwork for a program that can be toughened as the economy improves.
But the state government’s last-minute decision to give away most emissions allowances rather than auction them suggests voters and politicians are not ready to embrace the steep increase in energy prices needed to decarbonize the economy.
“NO” ON 23
Proposition 23 would have suspended the 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) until the state unemployment rate fell below 5.5 percent for four consecutive quarters. Proposition 23 would have effectively killed the law because unemployment is currently over 12 percent and has only rarely dipped below 5.5 percent in the last three decades.