As the evidence mounts that fossil fuels are a bad investment, this week represents a significant watershed moment for California climate policy. Last Thursday, the Assembly Appropriations Committee approved a package of twelve climate bills, which were already passed by the Senate. This week, the bills go to the full Assembly for approval. If passed by the Assembly and signed by the Governor, they will significantly advance the cause of climate sanity.
Three of the bills are particularly important:
- SB 32, which sets a greenhouse gas emission reduction target of 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. This represents an extension of the 2006 California climate law, AB 32, which had set a reduction target for 2020.
- SB 350, which sets three challenging but achievable “50 percent” goals for 2030: 50% reduction in petroleum use, 50% utility power coming from renewable energy, and 50% increase in energy efficiency in buildings. This bill is under withering attack from the Western States Petroleum Association and other Old Energy supporters, which have spread misinformation and fear about its effects. You can find answers to many of these myths here; the graphic above on fuel costs is one example.
- And our favorite, SB 185, which requires CalPERS and CalSTRS to divest from coal. This will be a giant step toward full divestment from all fossil fuels and an inspiring example to states, universities, churches, and many other organizations now considering divestment.
And this is the week it’s all happening! Janet Cox reports that there is a very good chance SB 350 and SB 185 will come to a vote in the Assembly tomorrow, Tuesday, September 1. SB 32 is being amended today (at Second Reading), and it will be eligible to be taken up on Wednesday. (Update: It now appears that the entire climate package may be voted on together on Wednesday.)
So come to Sacramento this week and help us show the Assembly that the people of California don’t buy Old Energy’s fearful lies. If you can’t come to Sacramento, phone your Assembly Member now. (Click here to find the phone number of the right Sacramento office.) You can also watch the Assembly in session at this video link.
And don’t forget: at a watershed moment, the water can flow either way. This week let’s make sure it flows toward a green economy and a healthy environment.