At CLCV, we think every day should be Earth Day.
Scientists have raised the alarm that we only have until 2030 to avoid climate catastrophe. As it stands, President Biden has already committed to protecting 30% of lands and waters by 2030, centered his economic plan on climate justice, and announced his goal to cut carbon emissions at least in half by 2030. With companies becoming more climate conscious and Democrat elected officials in control on the state and federal level, one would think we are in a comfortable position to avoid the devastating impacts of the climate crisis.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
For a state with a global reputation of climate leadership, California earned a 74% score last year on our environmental scorecard despite the COVID-19 pandemic highlighting the relationship between the climate crisis and public health. This month alone, a bill which would have created a plan to phase out dangerous oil drilling practices in California and required health and safety buffer zones around oil drilling sites, Senate Bill 467, failed to pass an initial vote due to the oil industry’s influence on our state legislature.
Researchers have pointed out that California’s targets are falling behind national and local goals for clean electricity and phase out of fossil fuels. Consequently, they’re calling for the state to ramp up climate action immediately.
We can’t become complacent this year. Electing Democrats to office was just the beginning. Now, we must continue the drumbeat and take the necessary steps to protect our planet and everyone who lives on it.
This year, the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) has four top priorities in this fight for climate action:
- Senate Bill 260, The Climate Corporate Accountability Act
- Senate Bill 467, Health and Safety Buffer Zones
- Federal Advocacy
On the state level, we are sponsoring SB 260, the Climate Corporate Accountability Act. State Senator Scott Wiener authored this bill to require big corporations that conduct business in California to disclose their total carbon emissions in a way that is available and understandable to the public. Joining us in sponsoring this bill are Carbon Accountable and Sunrise Movement, Bay Area. SB 260 would be a first in the nation, game changing policy requiring comprehensive public disclosure of the largest corporations carbon emissions and creating the roadmap for how these corporations can effectively reduce their contribution to air pollution and the climate crisis .
We’re supporting SB 467, a bill led by the Center on Race Poverty and the Environment, the Voices in Solidarity Against Oil in Neighborhoods (VISION) Coalition and authored by State Senator Scott Wiener which would require health and safety buffer zones of at least 2,500 feet between oil extraction sites and homes, schools, playgrounds and other sensitive areas where oil drilling puts community’s health at risk. Millions of Californians live within one mile of a dangerous oil and gas site. Of those millions are predominantly people of color who are disproportionately impacted by the health risks posed by living directly next to oil and gas drilling. This bill, now focused on health and safety buffer zones, will have another chance to be heard by California State Senators in the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee next Tuesday, April 27th.
After the census, every state redraws its internal political boundaries — from city councils and school boards to House districts — based on the new census data. These lines determine who can run, win, and govern. In many states, state legislatures draw the lines in privacy — allowing politicians to pick their voters. In California, we have an independent, public process overseen by a 14-member Citizens Redistricting Commission (CRC), giving ordinary people more power and voice to shape their communities and their futures for the next 10 years. In 2011, CLCV was the only environmental group to present maps or lobby the CRC. This time, “to change everything, we need everyone.” CLCV is launching the Grassroots Racial Equity and Environmental New Majority Project (GREENMAP) so Californians can lay down lines and lift up leaders who’ll take serious climate action and protect our air, water, and land.
CLCV supports climate action laid out under the Biden administration’s Build Back Better agenda, the THRIVE Agenda, and the Green New Deal. Recently, the Biden administration released the American Jobs Plan, which aims to make huge investments in infrastructure that will help California:
- Improve resilience to extreme climate events such as wildfires, droughts, and floods
- Ensure clean drinking water for all communities
- Modernize public transit
- Upgrade homes to utilize clean energy
- Create good-paying union jobs in the clean energy industry
To address climate action, racial justice, and economic recovery, we must have the political will and bold leadership to take the necessary steps. For us to do this important work, we need your support.