With two days left in the legislative session, Governor Brown and leaders of the Legislature announced last night that they would remove the provision from SB 350 that would have set a goal for the state to cut petroleum use by 50% by 2030.
Oil industry front groups had been fighting hard against SB 350 to protect their profits, spreading lies through expensive advertising campaigns and lobbying around the state. We're extremely disappointed that not enough of our state leaders stood up to pressure from the oil industry.
Yet even as the Sacramento Bee calls this "a major setback for Gov. Jerry Brown's climate agenda," there are two significant silver linings to note.
First of all, we know that TransForm's efforts made an impact in the debate about SB 350. Thanks to emails from people like you, state leaders had recently strengthened SB 350 to include investing in ways that make it easier and safer to get around without a car (like bike lanes, safe sidewalks, and reliable buses and trains).
Senator De Leon made SB 350 better as a result of our involvement. We will continue to press for better public transportation, safer walking and biking, and more affordable homes near transit to be a focus of California's climate protection initiatives.
What's more, SB 350 will now most definitely become law - and the remaining two parts to the bill are important steps towards curbing greenhouse gas emissions. California will set the targets of 50% renewable energy and a 50% increase in energy efficiency for buildings statewide by 2030.
We still support SB 350, and we remain committed to keeping our state on the path to improved public health, a strong economy, and cleaner air. That path includes other critical actions from our state government, including the Air Resources Board’s efforts to meet the climate goals set in AB 32. And with Governor Brown’s declaration that “California is not going to miss a beat” on climate change, we are confident that this Administration will do everything in its power to keep our state in the forefront of global climate protection.
So what do we do now? Plenty. The Legislature still has many key decisions to make even as the clock rapidly counts down to tomorrow’s adjournment. You can help win important climate and transportation policies by taking action now:
Call your Assemblymember NOW in support of SB 32. SB 32, which would extend and expand California’s landmark climate protection programs, faces a tough Assembly vote today or tomorrow. Find your Assemblymember’s phone number here and take one minute to call and urge them to vote YES.
Send an email in support of public transportation funding. State leaders are debating transportation funding in a special legislative session focused on fixing our roads - but especially now, it’s inconceivable to invest in roads without including transportation choices that don’t require Californians to give more of their hard-earned money to oil companies. Email your representatives now to urge them to include public transportation in the plan to get California moving again.
Support transit pass programs in the state budget. The Legislature postponed decisions about how to spend a whopping 40% of the state’s climate protection funds – but their deadline is tomorrow. We think some of it should go to support free and discounted transit pass programs. Email your legislators today in support of this proposal.
Stand up for safer walking and biking. Two proposals introduced in the special session on transportation would include safer walking and biking in our state’s plan to fix transportation. Send an email in support of these bills right now.