California Voters Uphold Climate Law, Defeat Prop 23

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Looks like Proposition 23, the attempt to torpedo California’s landmark AB32 climate bill, is going down by a very large margin. According to the most recent tally, 61 percent of state voters said “No” to the initiative.

Enviros cheered the defeat of Prop 23, which would have rolled back the 2006 law that required the state to cut emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Implementation of that law is set to begin next year. “Tonight California voters delivered a decisive win for the clean energy economy,” said Steven Maviglio, spokesman for the “No on Prop 23″ campaign. ” In the midst of a major economic downturn, and with a barrage of fear mongering and scare tactics, voters still chose clean energy over dirty energy.”

The debate about the law—which had bipartisan support, including the backing of Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger—prompted quite a bit of spending from both sides. Oil companies, many of them from out of state, spent almost $10 million on the campaign to defeat AB32. The “No” campaign, with major backing from the clean-tech community, venture capitalists, and environmental groups, raised $29.8 million.

Notably, Prop 23 represents the first time that American voters have been asked to weigh in directly on such a comprehensive climate and energy plan. It is also seen as a way, by example or by the dint of California’s economic clout, for progress to be made on climate policy even in the absense of federal leadership.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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