A special note here: an election is happening right now in California that has huge ramifications for clean energy and the climate. Just as they did in 2003, California Republicans managed to get the required 3.7% of the state’s voters to demand a “recall election,” a weird stipulation in California law that makes a standing governor defend himself or herself from a vote of confidence by request of a tiny minority. The governor, Gavin Newsom, needs more than 50% of voters turning in ballots to say “NO” to the recall, or he loses his job.
The election is by mail, and the deadline is tomorrow/today (depending on where you’re reading from) — September 14th. You have to postmark your ballot by then.
Newsom is popular. That’s not the problem. The problem is making sure people don’t yawn their way through this without seeing the threat. Newsom’s had approval ratings well above 50% steadily throughout his governorship. The problem is that those who are motivated to vote will turn out in large numbers — and right now, that’s any fossil believer who is hungry for a chance to hurt a climate change advocate. It matters not at all how popular someone is. It’s all about turnout, especially in special elections. So make sure you and your climate champ friends in California vote!
In my opinion, Newsom is a bonafide climate champ:
- He ordered the end of gas and diesel car sales in the state by 2035.
- He helped rural residents with the effects of climate driven droughts.
- He ensured good science is done before any more fracking happens in the state.
- He’s taken steps to phase out oil extraction in CA.
- He used the state’s budget surplus to expand affordable, clean energy in the state, rather than giving tax breaks to the rich.
- His appointees are great too — the Cal Energy Commission put out the nation’s first incentive project for zero emission heavy duty vehicle infrastructure.
- He expanded EV rebates.
- He is setting the tone to create hundreds of thousands of green collar jobs in solar and wind.
And then let’s hope that the California Assembly changes this absurd law that forces the state to spend a ton of money when less than 4% of voters ask them to, asap.