Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How did the environment do on Election Day 2014?

Pennsylvania's incumbent governor
, Tom Corbett, above left, a friend of the gas and oil industry who has opposed proposals to tax natural gas drilling and who installed climate skeptics to run the state's Department of Environmental Protection, LOST to businessman Tom Wolf, above right.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has avoided any decision on permitting natural gas drilling until after yesterday's election, WON. 

New Jersey's Public Question #2, 
which approves the dedication of a portion of the state's corporate business tax to fund the purchase of properties for open space, farmland preservation, flood protection, recreation and historic site preservation PASSED. Governor Chris Christie, some business organizations, and a lobby for the Koch Brothers had urged a no vote.

Philadelphia's Office of Sustainability
, a temporary creation of Mayor Michael Nutter will become a permanent part of city government as a result of an overwhelming 2-1 margin of votes cast by city residents. PASSED

Climate Progress reports today that voters in Denton, Texas banned fracking within the city limits by a large margin of 59 to 41. The first such restriction in energy-giant Texas, Denton has been a hotly contested site for the industry and one of eight locales with fracking bans on the ballot this election.

A city of about 125,000 residents located 35 miles northwest of Dallas, Denton sits atop the Barnett shale and already has some 275 fracked wells.

Another high-profile fracking ban in Santa Barbara County, California failed to pass on Tuesday after the oil and gas industry spent close to $6 million opposing it. However a similar version in California’s San Benito County overcame oil and gas opposition and passed by a large margin, 57 percent to 43 percent.

As of late Tuesday night, the third fracking ballot ban in California’s Mendocino County was leading by a large margin.

In Ohio, voters in Athens approved a fracking ban, while those in three other communities defeated their own ban ballot measures, according to preliminary results reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Related environmental news stories

Philadelphia ballot issues easily pass

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