In the United States, mid-term elections are scheduled to take place on Tuesday, November 6. Although much attention is sought on congress races and governor races, US citizens also have the opportunity to vote on important initiatives, measures and amendments that are specific to their condition. These state rules often have a more direct impact on the lives of Americans than their representatives in Congress, but because the proposals seem long and nuanced, they can attract a lot less attention.
The themes related to energy and the environment are among the most controversial in voting in 2018. Especially in Western countries, where the interests of fossil fuels are facing a society that is increasingly interested in climate change. Here are seven proposed voting rules in the US that can seriously affect the economy and the environment of states.
Alaska, vote 1
Salmon Habitat Protections Initiative
Ballot Measure 1 grew out of local competition for the Pebble Gold Mine, a huge project that has recently been halted due to the potential impacts of the mine on local aquatic divisions and the salmon population in the area. Salmon and other fish that they grow in fresh water, but live most of their life in salt water, are important for many Alaska, both as food and industry, and this measure would provide additional protection for salmon. But the measure opposes 12 of the native regional Alaska corporations, as well as mining and oil companies and gas companies. These organizations argue that the regulations in force have worked and the measure will harm the Alaska economy.
The measure aims to change the way in which the Department of Fish and Games assesses industrial projects proposed in salmon habitats. Divides the authorization into two parts: 'secondary permits' for projects that will not have a significant impact on salmon populations and 'major permits' for projects 'such as mines, dams and anything that could potentially have a significant impact on salmon water,' Anchorage Daily News reports. In addition to new levels of permits, mining or barrier projects would also be required to be publicly commented on before issuing the permit.
Florida, amendment 9
Ban Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling and Ban Vaping in closed workplaces
This strange position for voting involves two amendments to the Florida state constitution together in one. Voters who oppose oil and gas drilling, but support vaping at work, or those who support oil and gas production at sea, but are opposed to vaping at work, are unlucky; Florida voters must either support or defy both. They merge together because that is what the Florida Constitutional Committee, which approved the potential changes, according to First Coast News.
The restoration of the maritime part of the change in regulations would ban oil and gas wells in state waters, up to three miles from the coast of Florida. Inhabitants of Florida and companies generally opposed oil and gas drilling near the coast, because the state is heavily dependent on tourism and fears a Deepwater-Horizon-like crash.
Separately, the Florida governor has recently applied for a license from the federal government to free Florida from offshore oil drilling in federal waters, that is in waters beyond the limit of three nautical miles. The US Department of the Interior exempted Florida from foreign oil sales, prompting trials from other countries that want similar protection from offshore drilling.
Requirements for permits and reclamation plans under the New Hard Rock Mines initiative
This position in Montana's vote concerns the way in which the state regulates hard coal mining, which includes the mining of gold, copper, zinc, nickel and others. The Montana Environmental Quality Department (DEQ) reviews hard rock mining permits before they are approved and requires a mining company to indicate how it will close the proposed mine and recover the land once the extraction has been completed. This new position will require regulatory authorities to refuse authorization if the mining company proposes a land reclamation plan that requires that water from spoil is treated indefinitely.
A study by Montana State University suggests that this measure has broad support among Montanan, with 50 percent of respondents claiming they are for it, and 28 percent say they are against it, and the rest claim they did not know how to vote .
Washington, Initiative 1631
Fee for the emission of carbon dioxide
The Washington 1631 initiative sets a price of USD 15 for carbon dioxide emissions from large emitters, with the price rising each year by USD 2 until the greenhouse gas emission targets are achieved in 2035. According to McClatchy DC, "the Washington Office of Financial Management said the fee would increase by over $ 2 billion in the first five years." Oil exported from Washington would be released, as would coal-fired power plants, which are to be shut down by 2025.
In contrast to the federal carbon tax, proposed by a small handful of Republicans in Congress, the proposed initiative introduces a fee, the proceeds of which will be allocated to several funds for environmental protection and Community investments. The fee is also different from the emissions and trade reduction program that exists in California, where issuers buy and sell loans that allow you to emit CO2 on regular loan auctions.
Proponents of the initiative say that Washington is already one of the least energy-intensive countries in the country, relying on hydropower for a significant part of its electricity, so the initiative will not cause a significant increase in electricity prices. Opponents say the 1631 Initiative would raise gas prices by $ 0.14 per gallon, and utilities in southeastern Washington, where less hydropower is available, say their electricity bills will also rise.
Colorado, proposal 112
Minimum distance requirements for new projects in the fields of oil, gas and fracking
This disputed proposal aims to change the minimum distance between drilling platforms and homes, schools and other "sensitive areas" from 500 ft to 2,500 ft. The oil and gas industry claimed that this would end drilling in a large part of the state and accept high-paying jobs . Others have argued that economic impacts will not be as bad as oil and gas claims, because oil wells can be drilled horizontally, under houses, for up to two miles. The initiative would also not apply to federally owned land.
The proposal appears in March 2018 in the journal Science and technology of environmental protection they found that Coloradans, who lived 500 feet from the oil drilling rig, had higher rates of cancer and other health problems than those who did not. In addition, the proposal appears after the 2017 incident in which the unorganized gas from nearby oil, owned by Anadarko, caused a home explosion in Firestone, Colorado, killing two men and injuring a woman and child. The house was built 200 feet from the well about 20 years after the well was placed. Crude oil and natural gas spent about $ 30 million to overcome this proposal, cutting expenses from most grassroots supporters.
Arizona, proposal 127
Initiative on renewable energy standards
Proposals 127 would require installations in Arizona to increase the amount of renewable energy that they bring into the grid from 12 percent in 2020. Up to 50 percent in 2030. Currently, Arizona targets 15 percent of renewable energy in its network in 1525, so this new proposal will be much more aggressive.
Both parties spent a lot of money trying to get or kill Proposition 127, and AZ Central He recently reported that voting is the most expensive in Arizona's history. Proponents of this measure point to other nearby states, such as California, which have implemented a much more aggressive policy on renewable energy as solar and wind energy prices have fallen. Opponents say energy companies would have to withdraw coal and nuclear power many years earlier than expected.
Nevada, Question 3
Changes in the energy market and the prohibition of monopolies for the production of electricity by the sanctioned by the state
This position on Nevada's upcoming vote would bring deregulation action to the Nevada public service system. This would require the state to open electricity production to competition and prohibit the state from granting monopolies of electricity production in certain areas.
Utility Dive notes that this question was asked about voting in Nevada to try to force more renewable energy on the grid, but NV Energy, the largest tool in Nevada, counteracts this one by promising an aggressive renewable plan, if the vote rejects question 3 The tool says it will meet its minimum requirements for renewable energy sources and there will be no more if the acceptance element is accepted.
Nevada Question 6
Initiative on renewable energy standards
Question 6 reflects the Arizona 127 proposal because it requires a state-owned energy company to meet 50% of renewable energy penetration by 2030. Currently, the state mandate for renewable energy requires that energy companies, such as NV Energy, cover 25% of their electricity production with renewable sources by 2025. So again question 6 makes the state of renewable energy more aggressive.
Utility Dive also points out that there is less controversy around Nevada's question 6 than it is in the vicinity of Proposals 127 in Arizona, because NV Energy is already much further when it comes to the penetration of energy from renewable sources than Arizona. Currently, about seven percent of electricity in Arizona comes from renewable sources, while 20 percent of energy in Nevada now comes from renewable sources. In particular, Nevada has rich geothermal resources. If you feel like learning about it, Ars visited some of the best geothermal resources in North Nevada in 2014!