Posted by | November 7, 2010 12:12 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

It is true that over half of the GOP freshman class in the House are climate science deniers.  However, lost in the analysis of Tuesday’s election was the fact that one of the most important initiatives on climate policy passed California but an overwhelming 61-39 margin:  Climate Progress explains:

Here’s the bottom line message on Prop 23:

  • California voters delivered a decisive win for the clean energy economy.
  • The clean energy economy is working in California – and voters know it.
  • This election led to a new bipartisan coalition focused on making the clean energy economy happen (see George Shultz on Prop 23: “Those who wish to repeal our state’s clean energy laws through postponement to some fictitious future are running up the white flag of surrender to a polluted environment.”)
  • This was a huge victory for the climate.

And California, as it has for decades, drives national policy.  More clean energy industries will develop thanks to this vote and more will become economically viable, not just in California but nationwide.  So while Congress (and Democrats are to blame in addition to Republicans) dithers, California will lead the rest of the country on some small steps forward.

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.