From groundbreaking commitments to solving global warming to passing a first-in-the-nation ban on single-use plastic bags, it’s clear that 2014 was a great year for protecting our environment. Thanks to the leadership of environmental champions and the activism of millions of Californians, our air is cleaner, our water is safer, and more of our power than ever before comes from solar and other renewable sources. As we celebrate our victories, let’s resolve to continue moving environmental progress forward in 2015 and defend the gains we’ve made. Here are the top 10 environmental victories for 2014 and 10 challenges for the New Year.

A look back

By | Dan Jacobson
State Director

36 years ago the Love Canal disaster changed national environmental policy forever

The California environmental movement today declared its unanimity in calling on Gov. Jerry Brown to halt fracking in the state. Environmental leaders sent a letter signed by more than 70 environmental and health organizations to the governor urging him to be a true climate leader and place a moratorium on dangerous and extreme oil extraction processes. The letter’s signatories include national organizations such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment and, as well as statewide groups including the California Nurses Association and Californians Against Fracking, a coalition of about 200 organizations.

Salvador Torres started working with American Solar Direct as an installer just a few months ago. For him, solar is a second career. Before enrolling in the “Renewable Energy Technician: Solar PV Installation and Maintenance” program at L.A. Trade Tech, Salvador spent 15 years working in the office of his father’s used car dealership. By the time his father retired, Salvador was ready for a change.