Some really good news from the California legislative election results for those in favor of innovative state policies on climate change. First, Sen. Fran “Clean Cars and AB 32” Pavley has won her tough reelection fight against challenger Todd Zink, who had attacked her for (among other things) being too far left on the environment. Sen. Pavley has authored and helped to pass some of the nation’s most creative, forceful, and meaningful climate laws, including both the California limits on car GHG emissions that provided the template for the current federal clean car law, and AB 32. Her reelection had been made difficult by redistricting. Kudos to Sen. Pavley and her staff.
Second, in a suprise twist it seems that California may now have a supermajority in both houses of its Legislature. This would have significant implications for much that gets done in Sacramento this season, including in the environmental world. Among other things, it opens up interesting possibilities for shoring up or amending environmental laws (like AB 32) that impose costs on some regulated parties and that might otherwise be vulnerable to charges that they are illegal taxes (since taxes may be passed only by a supermajority in California, a restriction that became even more severe after passage of Prop 26 in 2010).