ACTION ALERT! Priority Legislation in 2020
We focus on key bills to make a big impact with our climate justice allies. Some key climate bills are still moving forward!
Protect communities near oil and gas extraction operations (AB345)!
Big Oil is allowed to drill for oil near schools, health clinics, and houses, which causes lung and heart problems, harms pregnant women, and lowers life expectancy. Demand a 2500 foot setback from oil drilling to protect health of vulnerable communities.
Ban single use plastics (AB1080 and SB54)!
We must reduce single-use plastic and move to alternative packaging and products that are compostable or recyclable. Single-use plastic production is produced from ethane, which is a cheap by-product of fracking for gas and oil.
Increase penalties for oils spills from drilling offshore (AB3214)!
Current criminal penalties for oil spills need to be higher to account for inflation and to provide incentives to Big Oil to undertake safer operations to prevent spills. The bill allows the courts to impose criminal penalty of up to $10,000 per gallon spilled.
This bill adjusts current criminal penalties to account for inflation, and gives courts the flexibility to impose a criminal penalty of up to $10,000 per gallon if the violator knowingly or reasonably should have known that their actions would lead to an oil spill into state waters. Without a substantial deterrent, companies are incentivized to cut corners, putting our environment at risk. Furthermore, cases that rise to this level of criminal prosecution are rare and typically exclude mistakes or accidents.
Background: On May 19, 2015 a highly-pressurized pipeline used to transport oil ruptured on shore in Santa Barbara County, releasing over 140,000 gallons of oil. As the largest spill in over 25 years, it severely damaged the coastal ecosystem and local economy. On September 7, 2018, a Santa Barbara County jury returned a verdict finding Plains All American Pipeline guilty of a felony for failing to properly maintain its dangerous, highly-pressurized pipeline, which led to the discharge of crude oil. Despite the prosecution team asking for over a $1 billion in criminal penalties, the company escaped with a penalty of a little over $3 million.
Improve land management to increase carbon sequestration (AB2954)!
California Air Resources Board (ARB) in the next Scoping Plan update will establish an overall climate goal for the state’s natural and working lands (NWLs) to sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
AB 2954 would build upon SB 1386 (2016) to declare that the NWLs are a priority for the Legislature and to help ensure that NWLs are a major component of the state’s climate plan. The bill will also designate the ARB as the lead agency responsible for NWLs implementation.
- Identify the overall climate goal for the state’s NWLs to sequester carbon and reduce GHG emissions in support of of the state’s effort to achieve carbon neutrality and resilience to climate impacts;
- Identify practices, policy incentives, and potential reductions in barriers that would help achieve the NWLs goal;
- Integrate opportunities to enhance co-benefits including, but not limited to, the enhancement of water and air quality, climate resilience, public health, biodiversity, jobs, species habitat, the production of food and fiber, public access to recreation, and protection of vulnerable communities against climate impacts; and
- Develop methods for state agencies to consistently track GHG emissions reductions, carbon sequestration, and co-benefits from NWLs.
Background: NWLs comprise over 90% of California. Currently, NWLs account for roughly 9% of total emissions globally. A 2017 Stanford study “Ecosystem management and land conservation can substantially contribute to California’s climate mitigation goals” found that aggressive implementation of conservation, restoration, and management activities on NWLs has the potential to contribute up to 17% of California’s GHG reduction goal, in addition to providing additional co-benefits such as improved water and air quality, food and fiber production, biodiversity conservation, and wildfire prevention.
Reorganize PG&E into Golden State Energy if bankruptcy plans fail to meet certain standards (SB350)!
If PG&E fails to ensure the safety performance with enhanced oversight as specified in the bankruptcy agreement, then this bill authorizes the creation of a non-profit public benefit corporation to acquire PG&E.
Create clean energy local microgrids (SB1215)!
The state needs to promote the use of microgrids for electrical generation. Oversight agencies must evaluate the resource adequacy value of distributed (local microgrid) storage, along with a database of critical facilities and infrastructure.
Big Win: AB860 becomes law!
Every registered voter will receive a mail ballot, so people can vote by mail (no postage) or vote in person.
Rule Making Process is critical to ensure legislation is implemented properly.
The Legislative team is actively working on the rulemaking being done on two major climate policies: CalGEM on rules for oil drilling operations near communities at CalGEM; and CARB on requirements for zero-emission trucks.
- CalGEM held public hearings on the rules for oil drilling operations near communities. This is related to AB 345. Comments closed June 10. 350BAA volunteers were active in participating in hearings, in sending letters, and in signing petitions that provided the health reasons for requiring a 2500 foot setback of all oil and gas drilling from activities where children were present, including schools, health clinics, houses, and community centers. Children’s lung development was impaired by and childhood asthma was increased with the air pollution caused by fossil fuel operations, and childhood.
- CARB received public input on requirements for Zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) trucks (related to SB 44). Volunteers signed petitions and sent letters to CARB demanding higher goals for ZEV trucks, based on the latest technological advances and ZEV truck being manufactured.
Volunteers also did social media on these two rules and encouraged a variety of partners to send comment letters and share our petitions.
Legislative Committee activities include:
- Legislative training: how to track legislation and prepare for meetings with legislators
- Analyzing and tracking bills for action
- Writing fact sheets, blogs and social media to inform and activate supporters
- Meetings with legislators
- Letter writing, calling and lobbying
- Attending meetings and hearings in Sacramento
- Working with other groups on legislative campaigns
- Following state rule making and regulatory actions once bills are passed (e.g. Air Resources Board)
…and tweet at them!
C. Aguiar-Curry – @AsmAguiarCurry
Marc Levine – @MarcLevine
Tim Grayson – @AsmGrayson
Buffy Wicks – @BuffyWicks
Rob Bonta – @RobBontaCA
Bauer-Kahan – @BauerKahan
Bill Quirk – @AsmBillQuirk
David Chiu – @DavidChiu
Phil Ting – @PhilTing
Kevin Mullin – @KevinMullin
Marc Berman – @AsmMarcBerman
Evan Low – @Evan_Low
Ash Kalra – @Ash_Kalra
Kansen Chu – @KansenChu
Mark Stone – @AsmMarkStone
Robert Rivas – @RobertRivas_CA