Climate Change Measures Fail to Win Voters' Approval in 3 States

November 8, 2018

By Alan Neuhauser

A trio of ballot measures aimed at addressing climate change fell short at the polls Tuesday.

Voters in Washington decisively defeated a proposal to set a price on heat-trapping carbon emissions, according to vote totals still being tallied Wednesday morning. The results were a notable setback in a state that in the 2016 presidential contest clearly favored Democrat Hillary Clinton, and on Tuesday reelected Democratic incumbent Sen. Maria Cantwell and awarded six of eight House seats to Democrats.

Such carbon-pricing schemes are widely regarded as one of the most effective market-based measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but while Washington's proposal won broad support in King County, which is home to Seattle, it was defeated across much of the rest of the state.

Environmental measures also fell in Arizona and Colorado. In sun-drenched Arizona, nearly 70 percent of voters rejected a constitutional amendment that would have required the state's electric utilities to draw at least half their power from renewable sources such as solar and wind by 2030.

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