Hey, we are happy! Senate Bill 185 has passed the California Senate and the California Assembly. This unprecedented campaign by Fossil Free California and our many allies has leaped over one obstacle after another, and now we are within a whisker or two of total success.
When SB 185 becomes law, the two biggest state pension funds in the nation will be mandated to get rid of all their investments in thermal coal companies, stocks and bonds, by 2017. With one small caveat, that is: divestment from coal must be consistent with the fiduciary responsibility that CalPERS and CalSTRS have toward their members. I said “small caveat,” since we already know that putting your stock in coal is just asking to see your money go up in smoke. No smart money manager wants to do that.
I also said “when SB 185 become law,” not “if.” But I may be overreaching a bit here. There is one more essential step before we’re done: Governor Jerry Brown must pick up a pen and affix his signature to the bill. Then it becomes law. We expect him to, knowing he wants to cement his place in history as the climate-friendly governor, the one who paved the way to climate calming.
So what do we do? Not just wait and hope, like those lost tramps of Samuel Beckett:
Didi: We are happy.
Gogo: We are happy. (Silence.) What do we do now, now that we are happy?
Didi: Wait for Godot.
No! No waiting! For Godot or for Jerry. Let him know (Jerry, that is)—by telephone, snailmail, email, or moonbeam—that you want him to sign SB 185, enact it, make it so. You can find his various addresses right here (except the moonbeam). And if you let him know by email, choose your subject by typing in “SB00185,” and the title will appear.
One more thing we can do: help pass some other important climate bills that have not yet made it through the Assembly thicket. Especially SB 32 and SB 350—you can read about them here. To help, we can:
- Call the Assembly Members that represent us (numbers here).
- Come to Sacramento to be in the gallery when the Assembly votes on these bills. (UPDATE: A rally will begin at 9:30 am on Thursday, September 10.)
- When (yes, when) they do pass, let Governor Brown know he should sign them too.
Once that’s done, then we’ll really be happy.
Not that we’ll wait, even when we’re happy. Godot never arrives for those who wait. So we’ll start in on the 2016 legislature, and this time next year we’ll divest from oil and gas too.
Want the whole text of SB 185? Right here.