Senate Passes California Climate Leadership Bills
Legislative Package Underscores California’s Global Leadership in Tackling Climate Change and Building Renewable Energy Economy
The Senate today approved package of unprecedented measures to establish new environmental and energy standards that will spur innovation and economic growth, protect the state’s environment, and make renewable energy and clean technology accessible to all Californians.
“This package of bills represents the most far reaching effort to fight climate change in the history of our nation. These bills put California on path to sustainable economic growth, while also protecting the health of our communities,” said Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León of the accomplishment.
Environmental degradation and air pollution often disproportionately impacts underserved communities in rural and urban settings, Senator De León said during the presentation of his measure, SB 350, the Golden State Standards.
SB 350 calls for 50-percent reduction in petroleum use, 50-percent greater energy efficiency in buildings, and 50-percent of California’s electricity supply to be derived from renewable sources – all by 2030.
De León also argued that his bill will stimulate employment and further invigorate California’s clean economy, which has already generated thousands of jobs. “Those jobs are real. Those jobs are tangible,” he said. ““We have already proven that we can create jobs, lower utility bills, and rebuild our energy infrastructure, all while cleaning up the air we breathe into our lungs and reducing our contribution to climate change.”
De León also presented SB 185, a measure that will require CalPERS and CalSTRS to divest their holdings in coal companies and prohibit new investments.
SB 350 passed by a 24-14 vote and SB 185 passed by a 22-14 vote.
The Senate also approved ten other bills that comprise the California Climate Leadership package. All of the bills now move on to the Assembly.
Richmond's Andrés Soto featured at 350Marin's First Community Meeting - June 16
Enjoy good food, meet new people, and join together to create a better future at 350Marin’s first community meeting & potluck dinner on June 16, 6:30pm - 9:00pm at the Environmental Classroom, 535 Jacoby Street, San Rafael 94901.
Andrés Soto, co-founder of the Richmond Progressive Alliance and the Richmond Organizer for Communities for a Better Environment, will discuss the use of “bomb trains” to bring tar sands crude oil to refineries in the Bay Area and how 350Marin can help to protect communities and the Bay. He will also tell us what we need to know about the Regional Refinery Emissions Rule.
Get more information and RSVP on the event page.
March Against Monsanto - May 23
Several members of 350Marin participated in the March Against Monsanto on May 23 in San Francisco, joining in solidarity with people across the planet in standing up against corporate greed and GMOs. Performance pieces along the route included two of our members joining in the symbolic Bee Die-In.
Click on photos to see larger image.
Santa Barbara Oil Spill
Huge Oversight Gap on Refugio Pipeline
How Did 2,500 Barrels of Oil Escape Without Notice?
One of the big surprises to emerge out of the most dramatic oil spill to hit the South Coast this century is that the pipeline owned by Plains All American Pipeline is the only one in all of Santa Barbara County not to have an automatic shut-off valve. Not coincidentally, it happens to be the only pipeline over which the county Energy Division has no safety and inspection oversight authority.
“We’re flying blind,” said county Energy Division czar Kevin Drude. That’s because more than 20 years ago, All American Pipeline (Plains hadn’t bought it yet) took Santa Barbara County to court to restrict the county’s legal authority to inspect X-rays of the pipeline welds. It won. The consequences of that victory appear to be bearing bitter fruit. Because the county was denied the regulatory authority to require that Plains equip its pipeline with an automatic shut-down valve in case of a rupture, The Santa Barbara Independent has discovered, the Plains pipeline is the only pipeline in the county without this key safety feature. Instead, the Plains pipeline must be shut down manually in case of such emergencies.
Read more at the Santa Barbara Independent
Groups sue to keep oil waste out of state’s aquifers
Two environmental groups sued California regulators Thursday to stop oil companies from injecting wastewater into potentially usable aquifers beneath the state’s drought-ravaged Central Valley.
The suit, filed by the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity, claims the California agency that oversees oil fields is breaking the law by letting companies pump wastewater from their drilling operations into aquifers that the regulators were supposed to protect. The injections were the subject of a Chronicle investigation in February.
The state’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) has moved to end the practice but has given oil companies until 2017 to shut down many of the injection wells. Environmentalists want all the wells closed immediately. The groups sued Thursday to overturn newly adopted regulations from the division that allow the continued injections.
“California has a drought, and we need to protect all the potential sources of drinking water we have, and DOGGR is allowing the continued pollution of aquifers,” said Will Rostov, a staff attorney for Earthjustice, which filed the suit on behalf of the environmental groups. “We want them to comply with the law, and the law is pretty clear — no more injections.”
The division declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Tell Congress: Stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership
The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement -- a trade deal being negotiated between the US and dozens of other countries -- is the fossil fuel industry's latest tool to shut down climate action, and today begins a huge fight to stop it.
The TPP would give foreign fossil fuel corporations the right to sue city, state and national governments if climate action hurts their profits. It's an enormous corporate power grab, at the expense of our democracy and our climate.
Legislation that would allow the TPP to pass, called Fast Track, faces a close vote in Congress -- if enough Members of Congress come out against this plan in the next few weeks, it stops it in its tracks.
The largest rally against fracking in California history was a huge success. A bus full of people from Marin and thousands of others from across the State converged in Oakland to tell Jerry Brown to stop fracking and fully embrace renewable energy.
From the Oakland Tribune
Thousands of people from up and down California marched in Oakland on Saturday for the largest protest to date against the state's use of hydraulic fracturing to harvest oil and natural gas.
Environmentalists said they chose to have the March for Real Climate Leadership in Oakland Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown's home city to highlight their plea for him to take a stance against fracking.
"Fracking is hurting our communities. It is sucking our drought-ridden state of precious water resources, contaminating our groundwater in a region where 25 percent of the nation's food is grown, and contributing to the impending climate crisis," UC Berkeley student Eva Malis told a crowd at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, in front of Oakland City Hall.
photo from SFGate
See more pictures on the event page.
Photo by Adam Welz/350.org
Logo artwork by Kathleen Lipinski.