California voters rejected Proposition 10, which would have provided funds to help consumers purchase alternative-fuel vehicles and fund the development of renewable energy technology.
With 23.6 percent of precincts statewide reporting, Proposition 10 was trailing, 62.8 percent to 37.2 percent.
"California voters didn't fall for a Texas oil tycoon's $10 billion money grab, no matter how much he spent camouflaging it as green," said No on Proposition 10 spokesman Richard Holober, referring to T. Boone Pickens. "Proposition 10 is the ultimate example of a wealthy special interest abusing the ballot initiative process to enrich itself."
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Supporters said the result might be linked to the state's fiscal condition. The state faces a $10 billion budget deficit for the current fiscal year. The governor is expected to call a special legislative session this week to discuss the crisis.
"We were disappointed that Prop 10 didn't pass, but we think the voters were looking at the overall fiscal heatlh of California," said spokeswoman Amy Thoma. "That was at the forefront of their minds. The concept is still really popular, the move toward alternative fuels. It's definitely a popular concept, and something we felt was necessary."
State legislative analysts estimated the measure would have cost the state about $10 billion over 30 years to pay off the principal and interest on the bonds.
Hobler said Pickens' Clean Energy Fuels Corp. donated nearly $19 million to the Yes on Proposition 10 campaign, Chesapeake Energy and its owner $3.5 million, while the No on Proposition 10 campaign raised about $170,000.