Senator Kevin de León is the author of California's landmark climate change and clean energy legislation, SB 350, which was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown one week ago today. We are pleased to present this letter of appreciation for the important role of CLCV members in passing SB 350 and helping achieve an historic victory for the climate change policy – as demonstrated by your activism, leadership, and support for the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV).
Together, we've begun a new chapter of our historic fight to protect our environment and jumpstart the clean energy future that Californians – our children and grandchildren – deserve.
Up and down this great state of ours, the people made their voices heard with overwhelming support for the goals we have set forth in the climate bill I authored, SB 350. A remarkable coalition of forward-thinking businesses, national and international world leaders, prize winners in science and technology, and environmental and public health groups came together to echo the sentiments of the people.
In particular, California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) members like you sent more than 25,000 emails and made more than 3,000 phone calls to your state legislators. With your help, CLCV successfully mobilized voters in every single one of California's 120 legislative districts – from San Diego to Eureka; from Los Angeles to Tahoe; from the San Joaquin Valley to the high deserts – Californians spoke out from every diverse community across our great state with a common purpose: To protect our homes and livelihoods from the threats of climate change.
Today, I'm honored to have this opportunity to assure you that your voices were heard. This year more than ever before, your concerns about our shared climate found robust debate in the public forum. My colleagues heard constituents speaking about the consequences they suffer every day, the consequences that result from our continued dependence on fossil fuels. Governor Jerry Brown listened, too, and in January he offered a bold vision of the path Californians can choose if we are prepared to confront climate change in earnest. Now, just nine months later, major elements of that vision have become law of the land through the passage and signing of SB 350 (video).
California is once again stepping forward to lead the nation – and the world – on climate change issues, and a new generation can be proud to be part of our state's continuing legacy of environmental protection and economic strength. The clean energy economy we ignited by setting ambitious goals isn't some pie-in-the-sky notion to them. They are finally getting a chance to power their homes and cars and public transportation with cleaner alternatives – regardless of the zip code they live in.
I've seen hope in the eyes of working-class families when solar panels have been installed on their roofs or when they traded in a clunker for a fuel-efficient vehicle. This is the hope Californians know we must create for our neighbors, the hope we must share with the rest of the nation. The country is counting on us to double down on our clean energy future. We are the only ones truly showing how it can be done, how one of the great economies of the world can cut greenhouse gases and create new companies that bring clean affordable power to our energy grid.
By taking this road, we have affected world action on climate change. And now the global community is counting on us to do even more. We must not forsake California's amazing opportunity to shine our golden ingenuity for the whole world to see.
Certain industries should not be driving the decisions of our elected leaders, much less bending the shape of our future. The business model they represent is wreaking havoc on our planet and holding back the emergence of a new economy that promises sustainable jobs and a sustainable environment. And so they resort to fear – that jobs will be lost, that industry will flee, that the people will suffer – to keep us wedded to the past, to the obsolete.
Extreme weather is changing the world now; pollution affects our communities now; the economic toll of climate change is happening now. The people of California have spoken. We want clean energy, clean air, and clean water. Not a decade from now or a half-century from now, but today.
At the end of the day, we enshrined historic standards that double energy efficiency in all buildings and require half the electricity in the largest state in the union to be generated from renewable sources by 2030. Along with our existing laws requiring clean air and renewable energy, SB 350 will now lay the groundwork for a clean energy future for California.
We know how to lead. We are the pioneers. But we have to keep this momentum going, because we don't have a moment to lose. This fight for our future is about protecting our right to live and our planet. You made that known and will continue to, and that's why I will continue to count on the California League of Conservation Voters to stand with me in the face of bigger challenges that lie ahead.
And I will be there to fight beside you every step of the way.
Senator Kevin de León
Senate President pro Tempore
CLCV members received this special message in appreciation of your support for bold action on climate change and the California League of Conservation Voters from California Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León, author of California's new landmark climate and clean energy law, SB 350.