California Climate Vote More about Protecting Investments

Nicolas Loris /

California voters overwhelmingly rejected Proposition 23, the ballot initiative that would have suspended the 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) until the state’s unemployment level dropped below 5.5 percent for four consecutive quarters.

AB 32 aims to return greenhouse gas emissions in California to 1990 levels by 2020. Many Californians saw Proposition 23 as a battle between out-of-state oil producers versus environmentalists and in-state venture capitalists spurring a clean energy revolution, so it’s no surprise California rejected it by a 61 percent to 39 percent margin. But the vote was not about climate policy to the venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. Rather it was about how their investments would fall flat without the taxpayers artificially propping them up.