Sacramento – In the final days of the legislative session, Governor Jerry Brown, Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins announced that SB 350 (De León) will be amended to remove the goal of decreasing California’s use of petroleum in vehicles due to overwhelming pressure from the oil industry. Pro Tempore De León explained, “…in the end — with two days left — we could not cut through the million-dollar smokescreen created by a single special-interest with a singular motive and a bottomless war chest.”
This setback is the latest example in a long history of dirty industry playing dirty, spending millions of dollars to mislead Californians and decision-makers alike. Yet time and again, Californians have made clear that clean energy, clean air and a healthy climate are top priorities, and the state’s clean energy economy has already proven a success. The oil industry’s victory will be short-lived as California’s leadership has vowed to ensure that California continues to cut carbon pollution and protect vulnerable communities from the impacts of petroleum dependence.
The good news is that California legislators have two significant opportunities this week to move California towards a clean energy future. We urge the legislature to pass SB 350, which remains a powerful vehicle for climate change by requiring 50 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources and doubling energy efficiency, both by 2030. We also urge the legislature to pass SB 32 (Pavley), which will codify into state law a 2005 Executive Order to set California’s climate pollution reduction target at 80 percent below 2020 levels by 2050. In so doing, California can take major steps forward in the fight for a cleaner, healthier future for all, and set a strong example for other states and nations.