APRIL 29, 2021
POLICY WATCH, ACTIONS, EVENTS, PSR MEMBERS NEWS, READINGS & RESOURCES, AND MORE
SF Bay PSR goes beyond policy advocacy with a diverse array of projects designed to nurture a paradigm shift in the way we as a society approach the environment, health, and security. However, policy advocacy is at the heart of our work. This past month, we have been in a whirlwind of national and California policymaking efforts. Because policy proposals have been moving so fast, we decided to build upon our March newsletter by giving some policy updates here. We will fill you in with more in-depth analysis when the dust settles, and we’ve had time to research and reflect. If you missed our March Newsletter: 2021 Policy Focus, you can catch up here.
The following California bills would work in concert to address both public health and health equity, as well as the climate crisis, by reducing GHG emissions while initiating a just transition for workers to a green economy. Further down you will find our anti-nuclear policy section.
Governor Newsom ordered a ban on new oil fracking by 2024.
If enacted, it would accomplish the mission years sooner than the original SB 467. However, Sierra Club says it is not enough. READ MORE
SF Bay PSR SUPPORTED SB 467: This bill would have banned fracking and created set backs from oil wells to protect communities nearby. But it did not advance through the committee process. We are grateful to VISION-CA for their community-led leadership on this bill and remain committed to passing legislation that will create setbacks from oil wells and protect the communities living near them. READ MORE in Sierra Club Magazine: Letter from Sacramento: When Will the California Legislature Meet the Moment? READ MORE about SB 467 in our MARCH Newsletter.
SUPPORTED SB 582 the Climate Emergency Mitigation, Climate Safe Restoration, and Just Resilience Act of 2021: Signed the Climate Center’s organizational sign on letter in support of SB 582, a bill which strengthens state climate policy by increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets from 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 to a higher threshold for 2030 and beyond.
Senator Eggman, on Tuesday, April 27, voted YES in the Natural Resources & Water committee on SB 582. Though we are grateful to Eggman, we still need her and her colleagues to support passage of legislation, such as SB 467, to explicitly create setbacks from oil wells and protect communities living nearby. Again, thank you to VISION-CA for their leadership on these efforts.
SB 582 is a bold bill that would do five things:
1. Set a new goal for CA to reduce GHG emissions by 80% by 2030 (current goal is 40%— IPCC goal is 50%, Biden just set a goal of 50% by 2030 last week for the whole US)
2. Set a goal for CA to become net carbon negative by 2035
3. CA would become active again in international climate action efforts as this is a global problem and needs global solutions (Jerry Brown did a lot of work internationally, Newsom has not)
4. Develop a climate resilience plan especially for vulnerable communities
5. Develop a plan for climate restoration
SUPPORTED: SB 30s decarbonization package: There are no hearing dates yet for these bill proposals. SB 32 was sent to Senate Governance and Finance on April 15. SB 31 went to Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications on April 19.
The California Air Resources Board reports that the building sector is the second largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the state, second only to transportation. SF Bay PSR is supporting a set of bills (California Building Decarbonization Package – SB 30, SB 31, SB 32) that was introduced to decarbonize buildings. READ MORE in our MARCH Newsletter.
SUPPORTED AB 1346: San Francisco Bay Physicians for Social Responsibility calls for a ban on the use of combustion-powered landscape equipment in CA by January 2024. The bill is being heard in committee this week. Bravo to David Bezanson, SF Bay PSR Environmental Health committee member for his efforts on this bill.
SUPPORTED methane regulation petition to the EPA: Signed the Climate Law Institute, Center for Biological Diversity petition to EPA to regulate methane and ethane as volatile organic compounds under the Clean Air Act. If successful, this petition will meaningfully cut methane and ethane emissions from the fossil fuel industry, which are precursors to smog. In turn, it would protect communities from asthma, which afflicts 1 in 13 Americans and is the most frequent chronic illness in children.
SUPPORTED: Signed organizational letter in support of the Orphan Wells Cleanup and Jobs Act of 2021, introduced by Representative Leger Fernandez. This legislation will create jobs through a new program for the plugging, remediation, and inventory of orphaned wells on federal, tribal, state, and private lands by strengthening federal oil and gas bonding requirements and creating incentives for states to strengthen bonding rules and other protections.
SUPPORTED AB 125: Californians for Pesticide Reform’s organizational sign on letter in support of AB 125, which proposes placing a $3 billion bond on the 2022 ballot to fund economic recovery, greater equity, and climate resilience investments in our food and agriculture sectors.
SUPPORTED AB 1371: Oceana’s organizational sign on letter in support of AB 1371, a bill introduced by Assemblymember Friedman, which will help address the global plastics crisis by phasing out the unnecessary and unacceptable amount of single-use plastic used to ship online purchases in and into California.
SUPPORTED AB 30: Audubon California’s organizational sign on letter in support of AB 30, which would declare it a policy of the state that access to nature and its benefits is a human right.
SUPPORTED AB 652: Environmental Working Group’s organizational sign on letter in support of AB 652, which would reduce a source of PFAS contamination in our children by prohibiting its use in a range of juvenile products.
SUPPORTED AB 1200: Sponsored by Assemblymember Ting, the bill would prohibit PFAS toxic chemicals in paper-based food packaging, require disclosure of toxic chemicals in cookware, and stop manufacturers of cookware from making misleading marketing claims.
SIGNED: Budget proposal authored by California Can’t Wait Coalition which would dedicate $200 million annually to local public health departments to begin rebuilding workforce and infrastructure before the next public health crisis and make strides toward health equity.
SIGNED: Campaign for Fossil Free Buildings in Silicon Valley’s letter in support of an all-electric reach code for healthy homes, clean air, and a climate resilient community in Belmont.
Special thanks to SF Bay PSR intern, Daisy Valdivieso, for her research and editorial assistance with the policy and committee sections of this newsletter.