JUNE 1, 2023
Here in California, our health voices are countering corporate influence over policymakers and supporting frontline community efforts for healthy homes and environments. We are also working to oppose Carbon Capture Sequestration and hydrogen blending in homes.
Below please find just a few examples of policies and actions we have been working on over the past several months. Here is our previous newsletter with more on our CA policy actions, in case you missed it.
We invite you to help with these efforts and much more!
Join our Environmental Health Committee. All health professionals, community health advocates, students, and trainees welcome!You may attend to just listen and learn, no action is required, unless you feel inspired to help. To join our Environmental Health Committee, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. And please DONATE! You can have a big impact on community health by supporting our policy efforts.
SB 252 Fossil Fuel Divestment PASSED the CA Senate! CONGRATS to Fossil Free California and SF Bay PSR Divestment Task Force led by Dr. David Bezanson for their years of effort! Let’s pass it in the CA Assembly next! READ MORE!
First, Do No Harm Campaign Report: The Biggest Malpractice: How Hospitals Betray the Public Trust with Billions in Fossil Fuel Pension Investments. Dr. Marjaneh Moini, SF BAY PSR board member, spoke at the webinar. If you missed the webinar you can watch the recording here.
CA Budget: We are asking Governor Newsom to restore the climate funding that he slashed from the budget in his “May Revise.” We cannot postpone climate actions—too many lives are at stake. Here is what the California Environmental Justice Alliance wanted to see in the budget. You can read more here in the Sacramento Bee.
AB 421 is a referendum reform bill that gives power back to the people. The bill brings financial transparency to those funding these measures – oftentimes massive corporations – and changes confusing ballot language to clarify what a vote actually means. The referendum reform bill, currently in the assembly, will help our fight to protect SB 1137 by stopping Big Oil from misleading the voters.
We have been speaking out about the health harms of air pollution and fossil fuel industries!
New studies are coming out at a rapid pace and demonstrating again and again the health harms of poor air quality and the unjust and unequal impact of these harms on frontline, lower-income, and communities of color.
World Health Organization: There is no safe level of air pollution! WHO names air pollution as one of the greatest environmental risks to health. If governments are serious about protecting climate and health, they need to tackle air pollution.
NEW STUDY: Air pollution & health impacts of oil & gas production in the United States resulted in 410,000 asthma exacerbations, 2,200 new cases of childhood asthma & 7,500 excess deaths = $77 billion in total health impacts.
SHIPPING AND TRANSPORTATION POLLUTION
Dr. Bret Andrews of SF Bay PSR and other health professionals and community-led advocates called on Governor Newsom, the California Air Resources Board and the Environmental Protection Agency to swiftly implement at-berth and in-transit ocean-going vessel (OGV) regulations to curb deadly climate and air pollution from fossil-fueled ships in the Bay Area.
If implemented, the new rule would save 237 lives, yield $2.31 billion in public health benefits, and reduce NOx emissions by 17,500 tons and carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions by 356,000 metric tons by 2032.
ZE Vehicles: California approves groundbreaking regulation that accelerates the deployment of heavy-duty ZEVs to protect public health
School Buses: California Energy Commission to Electrify School Buses!
AB 579 establishes a unifying and achievable goal for all new school buses purchased or leased in California to be zero-emission, where possible, by 2035. AB 579 has passed the appropriation committee.
Keep Coal Out of Oakland: For years, the City of Oakland and the Oakland community have been fighting off the threat of bringing coal to the Old Oakland Army Base, which has been slated for redevelopment. If allowed, trains full of coal would come through spewing coal dust all along the route. The particulate matter from coal dust is incredibly hazardous to human health and would most impact West Oakland which is already overburdened with air pollution. READ MORE
OIL WELL POLLUTION
SAVE SB1137: We continue to support the VISIÓN coalition in our fight to protect the new law creating 3,200-foot health-protective zones around oil wells from being repealed by the 2024 referendum unscrupulously introduced by the fossil-fuel industry. we are outraged that over the past few months California has issued hundreds of oil and gas drilling permits, many within the 3,200-foot health protective zone from schools, homes, and hospitals. READ and SIGN the Health Professional Letter here.
Dr. Marjaneh Moini, SF Bay PSR board member, has been speaking to the press. “By approving permits near homes, schools and daycare facilities in overburdened communities; the Governor’s regulators are perpetuating environmental racism, continuing policies that exacerbate the health disparity gap and environmental injustice in our state. This has to stop.” SN&R: Oil drilling permits approved in California since start of 2019 rises to 14,623 as neighborhood feel the brunt
The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty resolution SJR2 was adopted by the California senate. The resolution supports a global plan to create the missing framework for managing fossil fuel production, first by stopping expansion and then carefully phasing out coal, oil, and gas in a way that is fair and fast. Please sign the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Health Professionals Letter endorsed by WHO, co-authored by SF Bay PSR Board Member, Dr. Marjaneh Moini.
We have ramped up our efforts to support a just and equitable transition to healthier all-electric buildings to improve our climate and regional air quality, indoors and out.
On March 15, the Bay Area Air District passed the first-in-the-nation standards for zero-emission water heaters and furnaces, thus beginning the phase out of these gas appliances. Read the press release here with an excellent quote by SF Bay PSR Board Member Dr. Mary Williams. And BRAVO to Dr. Bob Gould for getting the last word in this article by GAS OUTLOOK.
We are joining forces with PSR-LA to take more actions on the state level including passing similar appliance standards at CARB and advocating for the Equitable Building Decarbonization program at the CA Energy Commission.
Also, this year we are thrilled to be partnering with Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates on the creation of a community electrification education hub and induction cooktop program.
Protect Local Rights to Electrify
“We are here to tell the Ninth Circuit to protect public health. Gas stoves leak benzene a carcinogen even when they are turned off. The concentration of benzene can be similar to what we get from second-hand smoke. We banned smoking from restaurants in CA in 1995.” Dr. Marjaneh Moini
Recently, Dr. Marjaneh Moini spoke at a press conference in Berkeley with City Councilmember Kate Harrison to reject the Ninth Circuit Court’s extreme ruling limiting local authority to transition new homes away from fossil fuels. Also, it was revealed that SoCal gas used customer’s rate payments to fund this lawsuit. READ MORE
SF Bay PSR Intern Lilah Blalock, famous for creating our building electrification infographic series, has done it again! This time she made a bookmark >>>
READ PSR National and Chapter’s letter to Consumer Product Safety Commission asking them to require stove producers to alert consumers to the hazards of gas stoves.
East Bay Green Home Tour: WATCH inspiring examples here
EXTREME HEAT: Did you miss our big BE event of the year? LEARN MORE and WATCH Extreme Heat: The Deadliest Climate-Related Health Hazard: How can we advocate for health and equity protections?
FIND MORE health harms for gas stoves and benefits of building electrification here!
BE Speakers Bureau: We also continue to give presentations on the health benefits of building electrification to community and nonprofit groups, and medical associations. To become a speaker or to request a speaker, email email@example.com
On Earth Day, SF Bay PSR supported a gathering about toxics and sea level rise around the Bay. BRAVO to Alfredo Angulo of Richmond Shoreline Alliance who spoke at People’s Earth Day for Water Justice. As rising seas threaten to flood hundreds of toxic sites along the CA coast, the risk of flood-related contamination will fall disproportionately on the state’s most marginalized communities. READ MORE
Also, SF Bay PSR joined Last Chance Alliance’s the Big Oil Resistance Tour in Oakland this May with a table full of info!
Want to stay in-the-know about policy actions, current studies, and news?
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Special thanks to Intern Sienna Marley for her help with our Environmental Health Committee and policy work!