Media Coverage: Cox and Siltanen Quoted in POWER Magazine and Solar Industry on how Clean Energy Industry Fared in Midterms

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Environmental attorney Rachel Cox was quoted in POWER magazine in an article titled “Midterms a Mixed Bag for State Energy Ballot Measures,” and Cox and associate Hayley Siltanen were quoted in Solar Industry magazine in an article titled “Midterm Election Brings Victory And Defeat To Clean Energy Industry.” Both were published November 8, 2018. The articles discuss how ballot measures and renewables-friendly candidates in several states fared in the recent midterm elections.

Ballot initiatives that would enact measures such as expanding a state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS), limiting drilling for oil and natural gas on state-owned land, or imposing a fee on greenhouse gas emissions were up for voting, with one passing in Nevada but others being defeated in Arizona, Colorado, Washington and California.

The failure to pass of several ballot measures was offset somewhat by good results for Democrats in gubernatorial and Senate races, with many running and winning on platforms friendly to clean energy. Siltanen noted that votes on ballot measures in Nevada and Arizona — which reached opposite outcomes on similar initiatives to increase each state’s RPS — “appear to align with the gubernatorial and Senate elections in the states.”

Washington state voters rejected ballot initiative I-1631, which would have imposed a carbon emissions fee of $15 per metric ton of carbon that would have increased by $2 each year until the state met its greenhouse-gas reduction goals. Though not the first carbon tax ballot initiative to fail in Washington, Cox doesn’t think it will be the last push for climate change legislation in the state.

“We do not expect that the push to adopt climate change regulation in Washington State will end here,” she said. “Washington’s Gov. Jay Inslee has made climate regulation a major priority during his two terms, and both the Washington State House and Senate appear to be gaining stronger majorities through this election, which could lead to renewed efforts to pass climate change-related legislation in the next session.”

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Hayley K. Siltanen
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