California voters defeat Prop 23

California voters overwhelmingly rejected a controversial measure to roll back the state's landmark climate- change law, sending a strong pro-environment message at a time of deep economic weakness.

With about 40 percent of the votes counted late Tuesday, state residents were voting by a margin of more than 19 percentage points to defeat Proposition 23, which would have suspended the state's 4-year-old greenhouse gas-reduction law, a cornerstone of outgoing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's political legacy.

"This is huge because it's the largest public referendum in history on climate and clean energy policy," said Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund. "Millions of voters said they see clean-energy jobs as the path forward through a tough economic climate."

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