Dear Governor Brown, Pro Tem de León, and Speaker Rendon:
Environment California is writing to offer support for AB 398 (E. Garcia) and AB 617 (C. Garcia).
Environment California is a statewide, citizen-funded environmental advocacy organization that is working to build the public support needed to establish and implement strong climate goals for California — for our health and our future.
Global warming is the most critical issue of our time. We need to do all we can to reduce climate pollution on the fastest possible timeline. California’s cap and trade program is one tool in the state’s toolbox and it needs to be continued in order to help California reach our commitment to reduce global warming pollution 40 percent by 2030. For this reason, we support AB 398, and we believe that AB 617 is a complementary step in the right direction to improve air quality.
At the same time, we need to prioritize actions that will result in massive direct reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. We need to achieve 100 percent renewable electricity by 2045 at the latest; we need to fully electrify our transportation sector by 2040, and we need to shut down oil and gas facilities throughout the state. We need California’s leaders at all levels—state, regional and local—to triple down on commitments to direct reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
We are conscious of the fact that there are significant concessions to the oil and gas industry in these bills. In particular, we are concerned about the language limiting CARB and local air districts from implementing additional programs to reduce carbon. Given the severity of the climate crisis, we should be giving CARB and local air districts every possible tool and option to reduce pollution. There are some pretty big "gives" in these bills.
Still, it's great that our state government is actually governing, instead of deadlocking. We are all going to have to work together to move California to an economy no longer dependent on carbon. That's why Environment California is supporting today's bills, and why we have thrown the full weight of our organization behind SB 100 by Pro Tem de León, to get California to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2045, SB 700 by Senator Weiner to build a robust energy storage marketplace critical to our success, and our campaign to get California’s first million electric vehicles on the road by 2023. These programs are critical to California's success in reaching our climate goals.
State Director, Environment California