How Did Global Warming Fare on Election Day?

In spite of all the concerns about the economy, Election Day seems to have turned out well for the environment. California voters have rejected a proposition to suspend the Golden State's global-warming law, which requires the state to scale back carbon emissions 25% to 1990 levels by 2020.

The "No on 23" campaign -- including California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger -- has already started celebrating the presumed defeat, with Environmental Defense Fund's political director Wade Crowfoot calling it "overwhelming." The proposition would have frozen the state's global-warming law, which Schwarzenegger signed into law four years ago, until state unemployment dropped below 5.5% for four consecutive years.

Meanwhile, New Mexico on Tuesday passed its own measure to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, but not at the polls. The new policy, approved by the state's Environmental Improvement Board in a 4-3 vote, calls for large coal- and gas-fired power plants, as well as oil and gas operators, to cut greenhouse-gas emissions by 2% per year. The measure is intended to open the door for a regional cap-and-trade system, and won't take effect unless other U.S. states and Canadian provinces follow suit, the New Mexico Environment Department says.

"We're thrilled," John Fogarty, president of carbon-reduction advocacy group New Energy Economy, said in a statement. "This regulation sends a clear signal: New Mexico is open for business in the new energy economy. It will attract new investment to the state and create good, high-paying jobs in the solar and wind energy industries."

California regulators also released a cap-and-trade proposal Tuesday. But the plan – along with many other state measures to reduce global warming -- would likely have gone nowhere if voters had approved Proposition 23.