California’s Other Ballot Initiative


We’ve written about Proposition 23 in California, the ballot initiative that would delay California’s landmark climate law if it passes tonight. The measure has drawn quite a bit of spending from both oil companies and green groups, and will be the most-watched environmental question posed to voters today. The good news is that polls heading into tonight are looking pretty good for the supporters of climate action, and the measure is expected to be voted down by a large margin.

That doesn’t mean enviros are resting easy about California tonight. Another measure, Proposition 26, has gotten much less attention, but could be almost as damaging. This measure would require a two-thirds majority of the California State Legislature to approve any fee on companies or taxpayers, rather than a simple majority. This, of course, would make it considerably harder to assess these fees. The Consumer Federation of California called it a “sneak attack on environmental and health regulations.”

Like its companion on the ballot, Prop. 26 has enjoyed the support of big oil companies; Chevron has given $4 million to the effort to pass Prop 26, and ConocoPhillips and Occidental Petroleum have also contributed, as has tobacco company Phillip Morris.

Anyway, both Prop 23 and 26 will be worth watching tonight.

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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.