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Cleantech VC’s will be watching CA election results

UPDATE Nov 3: Proposition 23 was defeated 61.3% to 38.7% with 96.9% of precincts counted.

This evening, backers of large renewable energy projects will be looking to California election results to see how friendly that state will be to large projects in the near future. The issue is Proposition 23, an effort to get voters to roll back one of the strong legal measures the state has put in place to transition energy production from fossil to renewable sources. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Prop23 has backing from oil companies Tesoro Corp. and Valero Energy Corp., two companies that would suffer from tighter emissions restrictions under a state law called AB32.

Interestingly, opponents of Prop23, including cleantech venture investors, have raised $29.8 million, about triple the amount raised by the oil companies supporting it, according to the Chronicle.

The law that Prop23 challenges is part of a state effort to require 33% renewable power by 2020. If the proposition passes, a longer standing law requiring utilities to get 20% of their energy from renewable sources would still be in place.

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