Governor signs sweeping climate change bill into law

Oct 7, 2015
By Sarah Rose

Read the official statement from Sarah Rose.

We just made climate history! Minutes ago, Governor Jerry Brown signed landmark legislation to address climate change. SB 350 is now law in California; once again, Californians have succeeded in making history by passing a first-in-the-nation law committing our state to clean, renewable energy!

This historic climate change bill, SB 350, will increase California’s use of renewable energy to 50 percent and double energy efficiency in our buildings in the next 15 years. Authored by Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León and supported by a diverse, thriving movement of climate change activists, this bill keeps California firmly in a place of national and global leadership in our commitment to ending our addiction to dirty fossil fuels while cleaning the air in our communities and protecting our families from the threat of climate change.

A broad coalition of environmental and equity organizations, public health leaders, labor groups, businesses, consumers, and faith leaders worked all year to pass SB 350, knowing that keeping our state on the path to improved public health, a strong economy, and cleaner air was critical to inspiring the rest of the country and the world to follow in California’s footsteps. CLCV members sent nearly 28,000 messages, including emails and phone calls to their lawmakers, and our members kept up a constant drumbeat of grassroots support for new climate change legislation.

Big oil waged a brutal, deceptive battle against these top-priority climate bills, but with wildfires raging, drinking water supplies depleted, and wildlife threatened, our supporters never wavered. They know the stakes for California couldn’t be higher. With their help on SB 350, we earned real progress on climate change that will make a real difference in the lives of Californians across the state.

The passage of SB 350 is a major political achievement for the climate movement, but we can’t afford to stop there. Right up to the last minute before the final vote on the bill, Big Oil and their front groups lobbied lawmakers and tried to deceive the public with a multi-million dollar PR campaign. Our elected representatives had the chance to pass an even stronger version of SB 350, but the oil industry convinced enough of them to refuse support until the bill was stripped of language requiring a reduction of California’s petroleum usage by 50% in the next 15 years.

Despite the last-minute change, SB 350 will take its rightful place on the list of historic California climate and clean energy bills. The bill commits California to increasing our use of renewable energy to 50% by 2030 and to doubling the energy efficiency of existing buildings during that same aggressive timeline. SB 350 sets a new high bar for the global climate movement, and challenges the rest of the nation and the world to match our impressive progress in ditching dirty energy in favor of protecting our communities, cleaning our air, and preserving our planet.



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