Voters spoke on more than just politicians

A voter casts her ballot November 4, 2008 on the west side of Chicago

TEXT OF STORY

JEREMY HOBSON: It wasn't just politicians on the ballot yesterday. There were a lot of ballot measures in states around the country. Voters registered their views on taxes, the federal health care law, and climate change.

Marketplace's Scott Tong has some of the highlights.


SCOTT TONG: California voters overwhelmingly chose to keep their state climate law. It requires one-third of energy in the future to come from renewable sources. In fact, many big oil companies actually prefer the law, says analyst Kevin Book at Clearview Energy Partners.

Why? It caps emissions but lets industry decide on how to meet those caps, say buying pollution credits, or selling cleaner natural gas into the market.

KEVIN BOOK: The irony of all this that cap and trade gives flexibility to big business by giving them a choice of when and how they're going to meet their reduction targets.

Supporters of the green law far outspent opponents -- which included 2 out-of-state oil refiners.

On health care, Oklahoma and Arizona voters said yes to nullifying the federal law -- the part requiring people to have insurance. It's not clear if that would fly in court.

And in Washington State, Bill Gates senior supported a measure to tax the wealthiest residents. It went down - in fact the company his son once ran, Microsoft, opposed the tax hike.

In Washington D.C., I'm Scott Tong for Marketplace


Be sure to check out Marketplace's Tax and budget ballot initiatives tool, on marketplace.org

About the author

Scott Tong is a correspondent for Marketplace’s sustainability desk, with a focus on energy, environment, resources, climate, supply chain and the global economy.

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