Sen. John Kerry's concession speech at Boston's Faneuil Hall on Nov.
3, he pledged to continue working to advance the values on which his
campaign was based.
"Our fight goes on to put America back to work and to make our
economy a great engine of job growth. Our fight goes on to make affordable
health care an accessible right for all Americans, not a privilege,"
he said. "Our fight goes on to protect the environment, to achieve
equality, to push the frontiers of science and discovery, and to restore
America's reputation in the world."
The environment did not seem to be an important factor in the choices
of voters in states like Ohio, the pivotal battleground state.
In their morning-after analysis, University of Dayton political science
professors said Ohio voters were more concerned with moral issues
than any other issue including the war on terrorism.
Colorado passed a measure that requires the state's top electric utility
companies to provide an increasing percentage of their retail electricity
sales from renewable resources such as wind, solar and biomass. The
increases start at three percent in 2007, six percent by 2011 and
rise to 10 percent by 2015.
The coalition promoting the measure, known as Amendment 37, was broadly
bipartisan. It was chaired by Colorado Speaker of the House Lola Spradley,
a Republican, and Colorado Congressman Mark Udall, a Democrat, and
included farmers, ranchers, environmental groups, labor unions, business
leaders, religious leaders and statewide newspaper editorial support.
Colorado now joins 17 states with minimum clean energy standards.
In other environmentally related ballot measures:
Alaskans turned down a measure that would have allowed the baiting
of bears to lure them into positions where hunters could shoot them
Arizona rejected a measure that would have allowed the exchange of
state trust land for other parcels of public land as long as the swap
made good economic sense and resulted in the protection of land for
conservation or to protect a military base.
Louisiana overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure protecting the
freedom to hunt, fish and trap.
Maine voters rejected a bear-hunting measure that was the subject
of an intense campaign for its defeat by animal advocates. The first
trophy hunt of Maryland's black bears in more than 50 years ended
after 20 bears were reportedly killed on the first day.
Montana voters turned down a ballot measure that would have lifted
the ban on open pit cyanide leach mining. The campaign to reverse
the ban was paid for almost exclusively by one Colorado mining company,
Canyon Resources, which has spent more than $2 million on the effort.
The measure was narrowly defeated although the proponents, Miners,
Merchants and Montanans for Jobs and Economic Opportunity, promised
new, tough, environmental protections to go along with renewed cyanide
Montana approved $10 million to combat noxious weeds, and also approved
the right to hunt and fish.
Oregon voters rejected a measure that would have limited logging in
Tillamook State Forest that was supported by the Wild Salmon Center
and the Audubon Society of Portland.
Rhode Island approved $20 million in bonds for clean water and pollution
In Utah, voters approved a $150 million conservation bond backed by
a .05 cent sales tax hike.
Sponsored by Utahns for Clean Water, Clean Air & Quality Growth,
the funds will pay to improve air and water quality, build parks and
preserve open space.
Washington voters approved Initiative 297, a broad measure to control
the handling of mixed radioactive and hazardous materials wastes at
Hanford and to halt the import of additional wastes until existing
problems are cleaned up.
Sunny Lewis is editor in chief of Environment News Service, an
independently owned, real-time wire service covering the environment.