March 2023

We invite you to help with these efforts and much more.

Protect Communities from Oil Wells: Fight the ballot measure to reverse SB 1137

Environmental justice communities have fought for over a decade to protect themselves and their families from oil and gas pollution and to mandate a health protective zone around their homes, schools, and health care facilities. SF BAY PSR mobilized health professionals in support of SB 1137. But, just a few days after Governor Newsom signed SB 1137 into law, Big Oil spent millions to deceive Californian voters on a referendum to overturn this health protective law. The law was to go into effect in January of 2023, but it is now on hold until it is voted on through a ballot measure in 2024. In the final months of last year, CalGEM issued over 200 permits for new oil wells, 100 of which were within a 3,200-foot health protective zone, and since January of this year, nearly 200 rework permits have been approved, a third of them within the health protective zone.

SF BAY PSR and allies are calling on Governor Newsom and CalGEM to stop new and rework permits particularly within 3,200 feet from homes, schools, health care facilities and other sensitive sites. There is no excuse for CalGEM not to do its job. Governor Newsom has the authority to stop these permits and he must.

Carbon Capture and Sequestration is a False Solution

In December, The California Air Resources Board (CARB) finalized their Climate Change Scoping Plan Update. Despite major improvements as a result of tireless work by the CARB Environmental Justice Advisory Committee and environmental justice organizations, the plan still includes oversized carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) and removal targets (industrial CDR), and counts CCS as direct emission reduction. The oil and gas industry is raking in billions of dollars in subsidies for CCS and is off the hook to continue polluting in working-class communities. SF Bay PSR continues to engage in regulations involving every aspect of CCS in California and to highlight the dangers to both public health and the climate. CCS creates new potential public health hazards every step of the way from capture to transport to storage. Big Oil is planning CO2 pipelines for transporting CO2 across the state. SF Bay PSR is raising the alarm at every stage.

Building Electrification

After industry and transportation, buildings are a top emitter of greenhouse gases. Electrification of buildings is a critical step toward decarbonization, improved health, and health equity. “Natural” or fossil-fuel gas appliances are proven to increase indoor air pollution and exacerbate conditions such as asthma. The health harms from indoor pollution are compounded by the high outdoor air pollution levels in California. Also, while 98% of Californians live in counties with a failing grade for at least one air pollution measurement, a person of color is three times more likely to live in a county with failing grades in all measurements, per the American Lung Associations State of the Air Report Card.

Join us to advocate for health protective building electrification policies moving through regional governments, air district regulators, and the state legislature. We are amplifying our health professional voice to counter industry’s misinformation.

Many other bills are still being evaluated!

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Special thanks to Intern Sienna Marley for her help with our Environmental Health Committee and policy work!