Who Makes Policy Campaign 2016 Edition

Results of Energy Initiatives

Considering the disappointment of this election, I had mild hope restored from some of the state energy initiatives. Hopefully, they can give you all some hope too. Here are the results…

  1. Washington Carbon Tax: Rejected, but likely for the right reasons. Washington was 1st state attempting to impose a direct carbon tax; however, several progressive environmental groups such as the Sierra Club were opponents because the tax revenue would not go toward investing in clean energy. Many were happy because the rejection of it will allow for a better alternative in the future. Additionally, this initiative is significant as it will serve as a model for other bills and states moving forward.
  2. Florida Solar Energy Amendment: Rejected, but definitely for the right reasons! This strategically crafted bill was extremely misleading and actually included many sneaky, hidden fees and costs for solar energy consumers. The state of Florida has spoken – they want more friendly solar power policies, the freedom to harness it, and the prevention of monopolies. This deceptive bill was one of the most expensive ballots in American history with large oil and energy companies investing over 26 million, 100 times the amount of opponents. So much for the argument, Money Always Wins
  3. Nevada Clean Energy Initiative: Approved This bill was approved overwhelmingly so with 72%. Environmental activists can rejoice over this bill, which will allow for an open and competitive clean energy market that will reduce regulations and prohibit energy monopolies.
  4. Colorado Fracking: Approved So this bill is a bit of a setback. It was approved by 57%. The bill will make it more difficult for Colorado residents to make changes to the state’s constitution. Any constitutional amendments will need a 55% approval (as opposed to 50% plus one vote) and require signatures from all 35 districts. Fracking companies were strongly hoping for this to pass. Supporters of the bill feel amendments are passing to quickly in the state and want more careful, gradual change.

Overall, there is considerable good news with the energy initiatives we saw across various States. It appears that people do not necessarily not want more environmental polices – they just want better ones. The right ones. Some progress is being made. Especially because this issue is entering the public conversation more.

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