But to the surprise of many progressives in the state, Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, joined the California Republican Party to oppose the move because of Lyft’s involvement. He called it “special interest” and “a despicable scheme by one organization to give government tax money to their company.” The governor and his office have argued that higher taxes are not needed to fund electric vehicles. This year’s state budget, Newsom told voters, includes $10 million for electricity generation, including funding for parking and toll plazas. Opponents also worry that the measure would set a bad precedent, allowing companies to make policy through a vote, rather than the legislature. Some argued that the tax hike would cause wealthy people to flee California for tax havens like Florida and Texas. (Supporters of Prop 30 say this has never happened.) With 42 percent of the votes counted, and 59 percent of Californians against it, the AP makes Prop 30 a defeat.
Ultimately, citizens and businesses in the state will need to figure out how to pay for electric vehicles. In 2021, the California Air Resources Board mandated that 90 percent of Uber and Lyft drivers be employed in electric vehicles by 2030. everything gas-powered vehicles in the state must be phased out by 2035, noting that California’s transportation sector is responsible for more than half of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Advocates said that Prop 30, which aimed to reduce the cost of switching to electricity, would have helped drivers meet California’s goals, especially for low- and middle-income residents.
With or without Prop 30, it’s been a tough year for climate action. Just three months ago, Congress passed the austerity bill, the largest climate bill to date. As my colleague Arianna Coghill wrote at the time, the law includes about $370 billion in climate spending that would help support investments like renewable energy and electric vehicles. According to an independent study by two independent research firms, the IRA could reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by about 30 to 40 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. President Joe Biden has pledged to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by about 50 percent over time. the same.
But overall, the environment was not a surprise in the discussion of this election. In an October survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, the economy, the future of democracy, and education are the three things that are named as “most important” to voters. While “energy policy” ranked fifth, climate change dropped to 14th on Pew’s list, behind “the size and scope of the federal government.” Similarly, a recent AP VoteCast poll found that nearly half of voters see jobs and the economy as the most important issue facing the country today, while only 9 percent said climate change. Climate voting systems were limited, especially at the state level. “It’s unusual for there not to be an environmental voting system,” Nick Abraham, executive director of the League of Conservation Voters, told Grist in October.
Voting systems, of course, offer only one way to change. As my old colleague Rebecca Leber points out at Vox, states can play a major role in paying back energy bills. With Democrats now seemingly in control of state legislatures and the state legislature in Michigan, Maryland, Massachusetts, and possibly Minnesota, four other states could be “successful to achieve new climate goals,” he writes, despite a divided or Republican-controlled Congress. at the national level.