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Climate and energy measures fall flat in Colorado and Washington

first_imgOil and gas development in Colorado. The initiative would have charged most of the state’s major sources of fossil fuels $15 per ton of carbon starting in 2020, with the price rising $2 per year until 2035. Washington is home to some of the largest oil refineries on the West Coast. Much of the money raised by the tax—an estimated $1 billion by the mid-2020’s—was to be earmarked for clean energy projects, climate adaptation, and offsetting the impact on low-income residents. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Science News StaffNov. 7, 2018 , 2:05 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email Climate and energy measures fall flat in Colorado and Washington A number of states had climate- and energy-related measures on the ballot yesterday. Here is how two of the most prominent measures fared:In Washington, carbon tax failsVoters decisively rejected, by 56% to 43%, a push to become the first U.S. state to tax greenhouse gas emissions for the second time in 2 years. The defeat of Initiative 1631 came after a nearly $32 million opposition campaign funded chiefly by some of the world’s largest oil companies. BP America, the largest donor, pumped in more than $12 million. Initiative proponents, which included environmental and labor groups as well as Governor Jay Inslee (D), argued the initiative would help shift the state toward cleaner energy sources. Opponents charged the measure would cost Washington families hundreds of dollars, and unfairly exempted some industries, including an aluminum smelter and wood-burning power plants.In 2017, voters turned down another plan to tax carbon. If this year’s initiative had passed, the state would have become one of the few governments in the world putting a price on carbon—a step widely considered necessary to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Canadian province of British Columbia, just to the north, already has a carbon tax. —Warren CornwallColorado rejects limits on drillingColorado voters declined to place new restrictions on the state’s oil and gas industry. The proposition—which failed 57% to 43%—sought to limit new drilling and fracking infrastructure to locations that are at least 762 meters from “occupied” buildings, such as homes and schools. (Current laws allow fracking operations within 152 meters of homes and 305 meters of schools.)Colorado is home to about 50,000 active oil and gas wells, many of which are located in populated areas northeast of Denver, above the productive Wattenberg Gas Field. Proponents of the ballot measure pointed to a 2012 study that documented elevated health risks for Colorado residents who live within 805 meters of wells, because of the emission of toxic gases such as benzene.Many state politicians, including the outgoing Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper, opposed the measure because they thought it would devastate the state’s booming oil and gas industry. After the votes were tallied, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association issued a statement saying that Coloradans “stood with the energy sector to oppose this measure.” —Katie Langin RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post/Getty Images Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwelast_img read more