Urgent: Sebastian Ridley-Thomas Trying to Kill California’s Climate Bills, #changetheclimate, #350

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In this year when the climate crisis has stepped on the gas, throwing more and worse extreme weather events at everyone around the world, (including ChileIndiaEgyptChinaIranHawaiiTexasBrazil, oh yeah, and California), the California State Senate, led by President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon, has introduced an amazing slate of historic climate change bills designed to turn our climate emissions around.

SB 350 (De Leon and Leno): Golden State Standards

  • Spur innovation and investment in a sustainable California by setting the following goals for 2030:
  • 50% reduction in petroleum use;
  • 50% utility power coming from renewable energy;
  • 50% increase in energy efficiency in existing buildings.

SB 32 (Pavley): Building for the Future

  • Set the overarching climate pollution reduction target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.  This goal will provide California businesses with regulatory certainty, improve public health, and strengthen the economy.

SB 788 (McGuire & Jackson): CA Coastal Protection Act of 2015 

  • Ensure that the Coastal Sanctuary Act and Marine Protection act are able to provide their intended protections by repealing outdated sections of the Public Resources Code, so that the State can no longer lease its tidal and submerged lands in the California Coastal Sanctuary for oil and gas extraction.  Will protect us from oil spills like in Santa Barbara.

*****************

This is a critically important effort. We need more aggressive cuts in emissions to get us anywhere near the pathways that limit the worst impacts of climate change.  Those impacts will hit home in California’s neighborhoods, affecting our already-stressed water supply, air quality, public health, coasts, fisheries, agricultural communities, power reliability, and many other issues. (The bi-partisan Little Hoover Commission summarized what’s at stake for California in its report here.)

The State Senate approved these measures over the last few months and now they must get through the even tougher Assembly.

Local Los Angeles Assemblymembers, including Mike GattoSebastian Ridley-ThomasMatt DababnehAutumn BurkeMike GipsonChris Holden, Reggie Jones-Sawyer and Cristina Garcia are reportedly actively opposing some of these historic and oh-so-necessary climate change bills.  Ridley-Thomas recently helped kill off an important groundwater protection-from-oil wastewater bill, AB-356 (Williams), which was a no-brainer intended to protect underground sources of drinking water from oil and gas wastewater disposal and enhanced oil recovery treatments, and called for monitoring near certain injection wells.  Ridley-Thomas, Dababneh, Jones-Sawyer, and Garcia signed this letter last year trying to gut cap-and-trade legislation.  It is especially important as we head into the Paris Climate Accords that California takes dramatic action and a worldwide leadership position on rapidly reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.  This seems especially short-sighted because 25% of substantial cap-and-trade funds related to these bills are slated for underserved communities, like the ones these Assemblymembers represent.

You know all of this, but, we know climate change is not only here, but here with a vengeance.  2013 was the driest year on record in California history; 2014 was the hottest.  You know about the crazy wildfires raging across Northern California right now, and we’re not alone. This year, across the planet, there are record heat waves all over Europe, Germany, France, many other places, Egypt, Pakistan, Iran, India, and Japan that have killed thousands of people.  Droughts are also hitting in Washington State, in West Africa, Brazil, South Africa and North Korea, having devastating impacts on reservoirs and food production. Puerto Rico is actually rationing water.  It’s getting scary.  And where it is raining, it is flooding, like in Argentina and Myanmar, devastating floods displaced a quarter of a million people and killed hundreds in Malawi in January.  Closer to home, heavy rains caused flash flooding in Colorado Springs and we’re expecting a “Godzilla” of an El Niño in a matter of weeks in California.  This is serious stuff.

But you can help.

Call them all NOW:  (Also, find your own representative and be sure to let them know you are calling from their district: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/)

Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (District 54 – Mar Vista, Westwood, Culver City, Baldwin Hills, Leimert Park, Beverlywood, Ladera Heights, West Los Angeles)
Phone: 
(916) 319-2054
Email click here

Assemblymember Mike Gatto (District 43 – Silver Lake, La Canada/Flintridge, Burbank, Los Feliz, )
Phone: 
(916) 319-2043
Email click here

Assemblymember Matt Debabneh (District 45 – Calabasas, Canoga Park, Woodland Hills, Encino, Reseda, Northridge, Tarzana)
Phone: 
(916) 319-2045
Email: Emily.Rice@asm.ca.gov and Matthew.Powers@asm.ca.gov

Assemblymember Autumn Burke (District 62 – Venice, Del Rey, Playa Vista, Marina Del Rey, Westchester, El Segundo, Inglewood, Hawthorne, Lawndale)
Phone:
(916) 319-2062
Email click here

Assemblymember Mike Gipson (District 64 – Compton, Carson, Willowbrook, Watts, West Rancho Dominguez, Wilmington)
Phone: (916) 319-2064
Email click here

Assemblymember Chris Holden (District 41 – Pasadena, South Pasadena, East Pasadena, Altadena, Sierre Madre, Monrovia, San Dimas, Claremont, La Verne)
Phone: (916) 319-2041
Email click here 

Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer (District 59 – University Park, South Los Angeles, USC, South Park, Vermont Harbor, Florence-Graham, Walnut Park)
Phone: (916) 319-2059
Email click here 

Assemblymember Patty Lopez (District 39 – Sylmar, San Fernando, Sun Valley, North Hollywood, Pacoima, Sunland-Tujunga, Lake View Terrace, Arleta)
Phone: (916) 319-2039
Email: Kristi.Lopez@asm.ca.gov

Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (District 46 – Van Nuys, Lake Balboa, Panorama City, Sherman Oaks, Hollywood Hills, Studio City, Toluca Lake, North Hills, North Hollywood)
Phone: (916) 319-2046
Email click here 

Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (District 58 – Downey, Bellflower, Cerritos, Montebello, Commerce, Pico Rivera, )
Phone: (916) 319-2058
Email click here 

AND, PLEASE CONTACT THE ASSEMBLY SPEAKER:

Speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins (District 78 – San Diego, Chula Vista, Coronado Island, La Jolla, Del Mar, Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, Solana Beach, Point Loma)
Phone: (916) 319-2078
Email click here 

Talking Points:

Assemblymember ______, it is vitally important for you to vote yes for the Senate’s package of climate change legislation, including SB-350 (De Leon and Leno), SB-32 (Pavley), SB-185 (De Leon) and SB-788 (McGuire and Jackson).  As we approach the Paris Climate Summit at the end of November, California must continue its strong climate leadership if we are to have any hope for an international agreement on greenhouse gas emissions reductions, which is vital, because…

  • Climate change is getting worse by the day, as evidenced by more extreme weather events around the world, including (pick some of the latest here).
  • Senator Darrell Steinberg on why he killed Assemblymember Perea’s bad climate bill and all the climate change impacts in California.
  • California Air Resources Board chair, Mary Nichols’ letter to Assemblymember Perea, Ridley-Thomas, Dabaneh, and the rest, on the importance of cap-and-trade.
  • The Los Angeles Times reported on a study that came out last week which said that our historic drought has been made from 8% to 27% worse by climate change.
  • UCLA came out with a study called “Mid-Century Warming in the Los Angeles Region,” which says that we will have a drastic increase in the number of extreme heat days over the next few decades: the number of days when the temperature will climb above 95 degrees will increase two to four times, depending on the location. Those days will roughly double on the coast, triple in downtown Los Angeles and Pasadena, and quadruple in Woodland Hills.
  • Extreme heat and drought will severely impact low- and middle-income communities and underserved communities the most.  Sensitive populations such as the elderly and young children will have serious health impacts, including death.
  • The Centers for Disease Control reports that public health can be affected by climate disruptions of physical, biological, and ecological systems, including disturbances originating here and elsewhere. The health effects of these disruptions include increased respiratory and cardiovascular disease, injuries and premature deaths related to extreme weather events, changes in the prevalence and geographical distribution of food- and water-borne illnesses and other infectious diseases, and threats to mental health.
  • According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other top U.S. security officials, climate change is a top national security threat.
  • (A group of 32 Legislature members in response to Ridley-Thomas, Dababneh, Jones-Sawyer, and Garcia’s letter last year sent Brown a letter supporting keeping fuels in cap and trade):”California’s most disadvantaged communities … are already bearing the brunt of the impacts” of warming including “a historic drought, wildfires of unprecedented strength and 12 million people breathing air that does not meet federal health standards,” the letter said. “These impacts result in tens of billions of dollars annually in health and economic losses, while every dollar a Californian spends on gasoline creates one-sixteenth as many jobs as a dollar spent on other goods and services.”Inaction is not an option,” it added. “If we are serious about reducing fuel costs and righting the public health wrongs facing our constituents, we must wean ourselves off fossil fuels by investing in cleaner transportation alternatives as we did in this year’s budget.
  • A group of environmental justice groups responded to  Ridley-Thomas, Dababneh, Jones-Sawyer, and Garcia’s letter last year.
  • The California Business Alliance for a Green Economy makes the economic case for AB-32.
  • A group of economic experts further make the economic case for AB-32.
  • Op Eds by business leaders supporting AB-32.
  • Video on SB-350 from California Environmental Justice Alliance:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2joFsiS6sFQ&feature=youtu.be
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