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Proposition 26, a Sneak Attack on the Environment, Passed in California

California's climate change legislation survived yesterday, but it turns out a lot of oil companies snuck its "evil twin" past voters.

Damn. For a second there, it looked as though California had really done the planet a solid yesterday. Proposition 23, which would have essentially killed the state's climate change legislation, was handily defeated.

But it turns out a lot of polluters weren't even bothering with Proposition 23. They were pouring their energy—and money—into Proposition 26.


From The Los Angeles Times:

Proposition 26 proponents, including the California Chamber of Commerce, tobacco and alcohol companies, as well as oil companies, call their effort the “Stop Hidden Taxes” campaign.

Environmentalists and green-tech promoters, who have responded with millions of dollars of their own, call the initiative “Prop. 23’s evil twin” and “a sneak attack.”

Until recently, Proposition 26 was so far under the public radar that no public polls asked voters about it. As of last week, internal campaign surveys showed an even split on it among voters who had made up their minds; more than a quarter, however, were undecided — often a sign that a ballot measure will fail.

Chevron has contributed $3.9 million, the single largest donation by a company, to an $18.3-million joint campaign fund to push Proposition 26 and combat Proposition 25, an initiative to overturn California's requirement for a two-thirds vote on state budgets.

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The fear is that Proposition 26, which passed yesterday, might make it impossible for California to actually enforce the climate change legislation that survived yesterday. Bummer.

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