Surfing the New Wave of Climate-Related Legislation in California

Following legislation in California always requires good coalition-building and constant vigilance, but this year a new wave of climate-related legislation is testing our surfing skills.  By the February 2019 deadline, over 2700 bills had been introduced in the California State Legislature.

After another season of floods and fires, many bills address climate mitigation and adaptation, reflecting the growing consensus that we are in a climate emergency. While we welcome this wave of relevant bills, we also call on Governor Newsom to recognize the climate emergency and act accordingly, as we outlined in our letter to the newly-elected Governor.

Fossil Free California supports the Federal Green New Deal legislation that was put forward by Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Markey. In line with this, we expressed early support for AJR-7, a resolution by Assembly Member Todd Gloria (D- San Diego) that would indicate that the California Legislature encourages the U.S. Congress to support a Green New Deal. There are also a few California-centered bills that relate to establishing a Green New Deal in California and declaring a climate emergency in California. We are watching these bills closely.

We are also examining and studying bills that address issues in energy, solar, finance, public banks, transportation, the transportation/housing nexus, oil and gas infrastructure, and related areas.

SB 1: Protecting the Protections

Last year we supported SB 49, which was designed to shield California from dangerous rollbacks in federal regulations. SB 49 was designed to make then-current Federal clean air, climate, clean water, worker safety and endangered species laws enforceable under state law regardless of federal actions.

Senate President Pro Tem Toni AtkinsWhile it passed the Senate, SB 49 did not make it out of the Assembly in 2018. The good news is that a very similar bill, SB 1, has been introduced by Senator Toni Atkins (D- San Diego) who is the current President Pro Tem of the state Senate. We endorsed SB 1 early, signing on to a support letter from a broad-based coalition. Fossil Free California and many others also showed up in Sacramento in person to offer support when SB 1 passed out of the Senate Environmental Quality committee on March 20, 2019. To meet our climate and environmental goals, we must protect the hard-fought wins of the past.

Stay Tuned! And if you are interested in joining us in our legislative efforts by researching bills and advocating for or against ones of interest, please let us know at, or fill out the Volunteer form.