November 21, 2018

Across the U.S., 2018 Midterms were a Mixed Bag for Clean Energy

From U.S. Energy News daily email digest, here is a rundown of key races and energy-related ballot measures around the country.


• Voters in several Western states reject ballot measures that would have moved them away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy. (Washington Post)

• The outcome of several gubernatorial races could have implications for clean energy development. (E&E News, subscription)

• Nearly one fourth of the Republican members of the House Climate Solutions caucus were defeated, but the impact is unclear. (Greentech Media)


ALASKA: Alaska voters strike down an initiative extending new protections to the state’s salmon, an effort hotly opposed by the oil and gas and mining industries. (KTOO)

ARIZONA: Arizona voters overwhelmingly reject a ballot measure that would have required the state to get half of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. (Arizona Republic)

CALIFORNIA: An initiative to limit new oil and gas production in San Luis Obispo County, California appears to fail, according to unofficial election results. (KQED)


• Colorado voters soundly reject a ballot measure that would have increased drilling setbacks, a move industry officials say would have gutted the state’s lucrative oil and gas sector. (Denver Post)
• Voters in Boulder and Lafayette, Colorado pass a levy on oil and gas operations in the city limits even though it’s been a decade since a company filed a permit to drill. (Boulder Daily Camera)

GEORGIA: Republican incumbents were on track to hold off challengers for two seats on the Georgia Public Service Commission. (Marietta Daily Journal)

FLORIDA: Sunshine State voters approve a constitutional amendment
 banning offshore oil and gas drilling near the state’s coastline. (Pensacola News Journal)

ILLINOIS: A clean energy entrepreneur who made climate change a campaign issue takes a key U.S. House seat in Illinois. (Chicago Tribune)

NEBRASKA: A Keystone XL pipeline supporter wins a Public Service Commission race, while Omaha voters elect new members to a public power board who support a quicker transition to renewable energy. (Omaha World-Herald)

• Nevada voters approve a proposed constitutional amendment that would require the state to get half of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
• In another expensive race, Nevada’s largest utility will retain its monopoly in the state after voters reject a ballot measure to restructure the energy market and open it to competition. (Nevada Independent)

NEW MEXICO: Democratic U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich wins a second term, promising to put New Mexico “at the heart” of the nation’s clean energy transition. (KUNM)

NORTH DAKOTA: The defeat of Sen. Heidi Heitkamp may jeopardize the future of “clean coal” and carbon capture and sequestration. (Politico)

• Voters in Youngstown, Ohio, reject a local fracking ban for the eighth time. (Youngstown Vindicator)
• Voters in a Columbus, Ohio, suburb give city officials the go ahead to explore municipal electricity aggregation. (ThisWeek)

OREGON: Portland voters overwhelmingly approve a tax on large retailers in the city to fund clean energy and efficiency programs. (The Oregonian)

TEXAS: Republican Christi Craddick wins re-election to the Railroad Commission of Texas, which oversees oil and gas operations. (Midland Reporter Telegram)

• A ballot measure to create the nation’s first carbon tax was poised to fail, though the campaign was not ready to concede. (Reuters)
• Voters’ rejection of the carbon tax suggests one of the nation’s most progressive states still struggles to pass muscular climate policy. (The Atlantic)
• Proponents of Washington’s carbon tax campaign said they are already thinking ahead on how to push the issue through legislation. (Seattle Times)

WEST VIRGINIA: Republican Carol Miller defeats Democrat Richard Ojeda in a U.S. House race that had pit the fossil fuel industry against mining unions. (Huffington Post, The Intercept)

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