Despite the anti-incumbent, frustrated mood of yesterday’s elections, there are some silver linings and some important messages for the months ahead.
In California, voters overwhelmingly rejected Big Oil’s attempt to circumvent the most important climate law in the nation. This is an incredibly significant development. For the first time, VOTERS got to have direct input into whether or not they want to move forward with climate solutions. They gave a full-throated call for building the clean energy future in California.
Still, you probably won’t hear much about this resounding victory because some pundits will view it as a wacky, West Coast aberration. But think about it: if the fossil fuel guys had won, the media would have been trumpeting the death of environmentalism, and industry allies in Congress would have been citing the vote as reason to abandon climate legislation. And you can call California “liberal,” but it is also the state with the third largest unemployment rate in the nation. If voters thought clean energy hurt the economy, we wouldn’t have won.
But voters know that clean energy means good things for our economy, and the California vote proves it. Unfortunately, the federal races were less clear.
We saw the House flip last night and several of our climate champs were defeated – but so were many lawmakers who had voted AGAINST climate change.