The controversial PG&E-backed Prop 16 has been defeated, and former tech execs Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina both won their races in Tuesday’s election. Those were some of the results that could effect the greentech industry in California.
Prop 16 — the proposition that sought to prohibit local governments from getting into the electricity industry — was so close this morning, that it was only officially called around 8AM. But it was narrowly defeated, despite the fact that utility PG&E spent reportedly $46 million on a campaign to get Prop 16 passed. As Gary Cook, Greenpeace analyst, wrote in an opinion column for us, if Prop 16 had passed it would have stifled innovation in the energy and smart grid industry.
While Prop 16 failing was surprising and a positive step for greentech, two candidates that aren’t exactly friendly to the industry (not surprisingly) moved ahead in their races. Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman won the Republican gubernatorial race, and will now face Attorney General Jerry Brown in November. Whitman has called for a one-year moratorium on certain parts of AB 32 (the climate change bill) saying that is needed to give the state’s businesses and economy a chance to recover from the ongoing recession. (See our Green Voter Guide to the California Governor Race.)
While former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, who is running for a Senate seat, hasn’t detailed much of her stance on climate change, it’s clear from her most recent attack ad against Barbara Boxer that she hasn’t spent much time on the issue. In the ad she equates climate change with “the weather” and makes a reference to how it’s not a national security issue. Pretty lame. She’ll be running against Boxer in the November race.