Tuesday’s election results may have been a mixed bag for Republicans and Democrats, but for climate alarmists they were a complete disaster. Climate initiatives in two states, Washington and Arizona, were defeated and, in both cases, it wasn’t even close.
in Washington State, which is reliably liberal most of the time, Initiative 1631 was roundly defeated with 56.3 percent of voters saying no to a proposed carbon tax, while only 43.7 percent supported the measure. Had I-1631 passed, it would have created the first carbon fee in the United States.
Dana Bieber, a spokesperson for the No on 1631 campaign, one of the main groups fighting the initiative, called the results “a clear victory for working families, consumers, small business owners and family farmers across our state.” Bieber called I-1631 a “costly, unfair and ineffective energy tax.”
This is the second time a statewide ballot initiative for a carbon tax has been defeated in Washington State. In 2016, a similar measure was defeated 59.3 percent to 40.7 percent.
Proponents of a carbon tax vow to fight on. Next on their agenda is to fight on in the Washington State legislature, because sometimes it’s easier to strongarm politicians to pass laws than it is to fool the electorate.
The I-1631 campaign conceded defeat but, in a statement, made clear they plan to fight on. “This issue is not going away, and neither are we,” the statement declared. “We stand ready to fight in next year’s legislature and beyond.”
The initiative reportedly would have raised $1 billion annually by 2023. Decisions on how to spend the revenue would have been made by a governor-appointed board and the state’s utilities.
Meanwhile in Arizona, Proposition 127, a so-called renewable energy initiative, went down in flames by a 70-percent to 30-percent margin. The measure would have required energy providers to generate at least 50 percent of electricity from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power.
Proposition 127, which was largely bankrolled by California leftist activist Tom Steyer, would have dramatically raised the state’s current goal of obtaining 15 percent of its electricity by 2025. Proponents argued that the new measure would help to stop climate change. Opponents argued that the initiative would drastically increase energy costs and taxes.
“Arizona voters have spoken loud and clear, overwhelmingly rejecting Proposition 127. Much will be written and said in the coming days about why Prop. 127 was defeated but it’s really pretty simple,” Matthew Benson, a spokesperson for Arizonans for Affordable Energy, said in a statement. “Arizonans support clean energy but not costly, politically driven mandates. Arizonans support solar power and renewable technology but not at the expense of an affordable, reliable energy supply. Arizonans prefer to choose our own energy future rather than have it dictated to us by out of state special interests.”
Bret Fanshaw, campaign director of Environment Arizona’s “Go Solar” campaign, a group in favor of Prop. 127, reacted to the defeat. “There’s no question Arizonans want cleaner air and a healthier environment. We can see the effects of climate change all around us in rising temperatures, dangerous wildfires and continual drought. But we have more work to do to turn our air and climate into priorities at the ballot box,” Fanshaw said in a statement.
Both the Washington and Arizona initiatives were the costliest in each respective state’s history.
In addition to the Washington and Arizona losses, Coloradans voted down a proposed fracking ban. Proposition 112 would have banned fracking within 2,500 feet of occupied areas of the state. Fifty-seven percent of Coloradans voted against the ban.
In House elections, the Climate Solutions Caucus lost 13 of their Republican members in the Democrat’s victory. This may be a victory, of sorts, for the GOP, as some dead wood may have been cleared away. The caucus will now have to restructure since it requires members from both parties. If it cannot garner enough new Republicans to join, it may not survive in its present form.
Environmentalists can point to one victory on election night. Nevada voters approved Question 6, which requires the state to obtain at least 50 percent of the state’s energy from renewable sources by 2030. The measure passed with 59 percent approval.
Other than the Nevada result, one thing seems clear: Climate alarmism does not seem to resonate with most Americans, even in liberal states. Perhaps that’s because most Americans understand when they’re being fed baloney masquerading as science.