Sunday, November 11, 2012

In Case You Missed It: The Week of November 4-10, 2012

Analysts pondered the opportunities and challenges President Obama faces on the environmental and energy fronts in his second term.  Among many others, see pieces by the Sierra Club’s Michael Brune on EcoWatch, UC Berkeley’s Steven Weissman on Legal Planet, and Russell McLendon on the Mother Nature Network.

In addition to re-electing President Obama, enlarging the Democrats’ majority in the Senate, narrowing the Republicans’ majority in the House, and determining the make-up of state governments, voters decided 174 ballot initiatives across 38 states on November 6.  Several of these initiatives directly involved environmental issues, including these select examples (for a state-by-state list, click here):
•    Voters approved bond issues for land conservation in Maine and water projects in Maine, Rhode Island, and Oklahoma. 
•    In Oregon, voters rejected an initiative that would have banned gill nets in inland waters. 
•    In Arizona, voters passed a proposition that allows the state to exchange public lands to manage development, while they rejected one that would have declared state sovereignty over the natural resources within the state’s borders. 
•    In California, voters rejected a proposition that would have required mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods. 

While recovery from Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey, New York and other northeastern states continued (and original damage estimates appeared to significantly underestimate conditions on the ground), U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon joined a mounting chorus renewing the push for international action on climate change.

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