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64 Ballot Initiatives in 24 U.S. States Show Citizens Seizing the Energy Agenda

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With United States mid-term elections just 33 days (and 14 hours, 55 minutes) away, citizens across 24 mostly western states have launched 64 separate ballot initiatives to push back on the Trump administration’s determination to gut greenhouse gas regulations and prop up the country’s fossil fuel industries.

With the GOP controlling the executive branch and Congress, that means state-level ballot initiatives are one of the few tools progressives have left to advance their own energy agendas,” High Country News reports, in a post republished by Grist. Many of this year’s “direct democracy” initiatives “aim to encourage renewable energy development—and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

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HCN profiles the ballot campaigns in four states:

NV Energy, the regulated monopoly that supplies 90% of the state’s electricity, has said it would abandon some of the solar projects it currently has on the drawing boards if the initiative passed. The U.S. Sierra Club, Western Resource Advocates, and other environmental groups see the measure as a threat to clean energy development.

This time around, the new fee would pay for initiatives to promote clean energy or help vulnerable communities adapt to the impacts of climate change, rather than being offset by a sales tax cut. So environmental groups support it, while the fossil lobby is running a campaign to defeat it, with colossal fossil Phillips 66 kicking in US$7.2 million so far.

HCN reports that California billionaire Tom Steyer’s NextGen Climate Action has contributed more than $8 million to the 50% by 2030 initiatives in Arizona and Nevada.