FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Erin Ivie – 510-550-8172
Sarah Hersh-Walker – 510-550-8170
CLCV Scorecard Reveals Strong Environmental Progress in California
Oakland, CA – The California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV), the political arm of the environmental movement in California, announced today the release of its annual California Environmental Scorecard. The Scorecard reveals how members of the state legislature and Governor Jerry Brown performed in 2016 on the most important environmental and public health bills.
Members of the California legislature were graded for the 2016 scorecard on their responses to 17 pieces of key legislation, then given a percentage score for their pro-environmental actions. Governor Jerry Brown, 10 state senators and 13 state assemblymembers received a perfect score of 100 percent.
“California legislators are the best hope our country has of moving environmental policy forward, and this new scorecard recognizes the champions leading the charge,” said Sarah Rose, CEO of CLCV. “Meaningful work on global issues like climate change begins right here at the local and state level, and our champion legislators and the bills they passed this year address these challenges in a concrete way.”
Continuing climate leadership in California is more important than ever, as President-elect Trump and a new administration gear up to gut environmental protections, open public lands to drilling, and dismantle the EPA by nominating an ardent climate denier to lead the agency. CLCV congratulates this year’s champions for building momentum in the right direction, and applauds them for strengthening the state’s legacy of environmental leadership.
California’s Environmental Champions
2016 was one of the best legislative sessions in recent history, due in large part to the climate leadership and perseverance of environmental champions scoring high on the CLCV Scorecard. Legislators receiving a perfect score include Governor Brown, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon; Senators Ben Allen, Jim Beall, Marty Block, Isadore Hall, Loni Hancock, Jerry Hill, Mark Leno, Bob Wieckowski, and Lois Wolk; and Assemblymembers Richard Bloom, Rob Bonta, Ed Chau, David Chiu, Lorena Gonzalez, Reginald Jones-Sawyer, Kevin McCarty, Adrin Nazarian, Mark Stone, Tony Thurmond, Philip Ting, and Das Williams.
These and other state leaders passed legislation in Sacramento mandating an additional 40 percent cut in emissions by 2030, extended overtime protections to farmworkers, and renewed California’s global commitment to addressing climate change while expanding our work to improve air quality in our most impacted communities. In 2016, every CLCV priority bill that made it to Governor Brown’s desk was signed into law.
Environmental Victories in Sacramento
Ten priority bills were signed into law in 2016, setting into motion long-term reductions to greenhouse gas emissions and lead contamination while increasing government accountability.
“This year, in spite of profound disappointments on the national stage, California achieved significant progress,” said James Johnson, Political Director of CLCV. “There is an opportunity ahead to educate, encourage and cultivate legislative champions to step up to environmental challenges, and to demonstrate our commitment to a more just environment.”
2016 brought big wins for government transparency, including the passage of AB 197. Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia’s Climate Equity and Transparency Act ensures that the benefits of climate pollution reduction reach the communities most directly affected, and gives the Legislature greater oversight responsibility when implementing climate policies.
California also made great progress towards a more just environment with new laws passed to help improve equity in communities across California. Through AB 1550 (Gomez), at least 25 percent of cap-and-trade auction proceeds will now fund projects in disadvantaged communities, with at least an additional 10 percent directed to low-income residents.
And thanks to SB 1000 (Leyva), an environmental justice element will be required in every local general plan in the future. The legislation will help cities and counties reduce pollution exposure as it promotes better food access, healthier homes, improved air quality, and physical activity in local communities.
Many bills that did not pass — like those surrounding transparency in labeling — are expected to resurface in future sessions.
“Legislation like SB 1282 (labeling bee-killing pesticide) and AB 708 (ingredient labeling of cleaning products) are important measures of transparency,” said Rose. “We know that when given accurate information, Californians will make the choice for environmentally conscious products.”
To learn more about each legislators’ score and see how they voted on environmental legislation, visit ecovote.org/scorecard.
About the California League of Conservation Voters
The political muscle of the environmental movement in America’s leading environmental state, the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) is the nation’s oldest grassroots environmental political action organization. CLCV uses sophisticated campaign tools to help elect pro-environment officials and to hold them accountable for passing legislation to protect health, communities and the environment. CLCV publishes the annual California Environmental Scorecard, which rates the actions of every state legislator and the governor on the state’s environmental priorities each legislative year. For more information about CLCV, visit www.ecovote.org.