October 28, 2014
Contact: Jenesse Miller, CLCV, 510-844-0235
Quality and quantity of priority bills signed into law reflect a banner year for environmental protection
OAKLAND, Calif. (October 28, 2014) – The California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) – the political arm of the environmental movement in California – announced the release of its annual California Environmental Scorecard today. The record of the votes (available at http://www.ecovote.org/scorecard/) and story of the legislative sessionreveals how members of the state legislature and Governor Jerry Brown performed on the most important environmental and public health bills in the 2014 legislative session.
“The most important takeaway from this year’s Scorecard is how many important environmental victories we won this year,” said Sarah Rose, Chief Executive Officer, CLCV. “California’s legislature passed and Governor Jerry Brown signed historic bills regulating groundwater, the first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags, and legislation that more equitably distributes the benefits of our state’s commitment to clean energy to disadvantaged communities, among others. What’s notable is that these successes are shared by every community in this diverse, beautiful state we call home. Access to clean water, clean air, and the benefits of our transition to cleaner sources of energy are critical to all Californians’ quality of life.”
CLCV’s Scorecard describes the close collaboration by environmental groups on priority bills and applauds the environmental leadership of Governor Brown, Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg and incoming Pro Tem Kevin de León, and Assembly Speakers Toni Atkins and John Pérez, among others in the legislature. It also describes the well-funded attacks of the oil industry on proposed legislation as well as established environmental laws.
“It’s important to note that despite the amazing progress this year, we must continue to monitor and fight back against the influence of special interests like Big Oil ,” continued Rose. “The other big lesson of this legislative session is that the dirty energy industry remains a powerful force; they are determined to halt our progress on clean air, clean energy and solutions to climate change.”
As documented in the Scorecard story of the 2014 legislative session, the oil industry, led by their lobbying arm, the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) launched a major campaign over the summer to stop or delay the inclusion of transportation fuels in the state’s cap-and-trade program starting January 1, 2015. Inclusion of the fuels, which are responsible for 40 percent of California's greenhouse gas emissions, is a cornerstone of the implementation plan for California’s landmark climate and clean air law, AB 32 (Pavley, 2006). Cap-and-trade revenues are increasingly a source of funding for disadvantaged communities which are among the hardest hit by the impacts of climate change.
Dozens of members of the legislature, both Democrats and Republicans, signed letters to the CA Air Resources Board and Governor Brown asking for an exemption or “free pass” for the oil industry. In response to the alarming attacks on California’s continued leadership on climate change, CLCV takes the historic step of negatively scoring the signatories of the letters as if they had cast a vote against implementation of AB 32.
“CLCV takes the unprecedented step of scoring those who called for a delay in implementation of our state’s landmark climate and clean air law in order to make it clear that these actions will be a part of lawmakers’ permanent record of environmental performance,” said David Allgood, CLCV Political Director.
CLCV releases the Scorecard one week in advance of the 2014 General Election, as part of the organization’s mission to help elect the best possible environmental champions for California.
“For more than four decades, the CLCV Environmental Scorecard has helped California voters decide if lawmakers represent their values on critical issues like clean water, clean air, climate change solutions, preservation of wild places, and protecting our families from toxic chemicals and pollution,” said Rick Zbur, President and Chair of the Board, CLCV. “During this important election year, we encourage our members to use our Scorecard along with our endorsements to vote for candidates who recognize a clean environment as a common value, and will consistently fight to protect all Californian’s rights to a clean and healthy environment and a sustainable future for our children.”
Priority bills that made it to the governor’s desk and were signed into law include:
SB 1275 (De León) directs ARB to develop a long-term funding plan to meet the goal of putting one million zero- and near-zero emission cars on California’s roads; ensures that disadvantaged communities benefit;
SB 1204 (Lara) directs the Air Resources Board (ARB) to use revenue generated by cap-and-trade auctions to fund development and deployment of zero and near-zero-emission truck, bus, and off-road vehicle and equipment technologies;
SB 270 (Padilla) phases out single-use plastic bags in grocery and others major stores statewide;
AB 1739 (Dickinson) & SB 1168 (Pavley) requires local groundwater management planning and establishes oversight and monitoring of the state’s major groundwater basins;
AB 1471 (Rendon) places a $7.5 billion water bond on the November 2014 ballot in order to provide important and overdue investments to address California’s critical water needs.
A notable example of unfinished business is the environmental community’s work to protect Californians from the risks of fracking. For example, dozens of environmental groups including CLCV worked together in support of SB 1132 (Mitchell) to place a moratorium on fracking, acidizing and other risky drilling methods, but it failed passage on the Senate floor. CLCV continues to advocate for a moratorium on fracking and for better protections from the risks of fossil fuel extraction in our state.
2014 California Environmental Scorecard Highlights:
Governor Jerry Brown: 92%
Senate average: 69%
Senate Democrats: 90%
Senate Republicans: 24%
Senators with 100% score: 12
Assembly average: 68%
Assembly Democrats: 87%
Assembly Republicans: 24%
Assemblymembers with 100% score: 24
Senators: Beall, Corbett, DeSaulnier, Leno, Lieu, Liu, Mitchell, Monning, Padilla, Pavley, Steinberg, Wolk
Assemblymembers: Ammiano, Atkins, Bloom, Bonta, Chau, Dickinson, Fong, Gatto, Gomez, Gordon, Levine, Lowenthal, Mullin, Muratsuchi, Nazarian, J. Pérez, V. M. Pérez, Rendon, Skinner, Stone, Ting, Wieckowski, Williams, Yamada
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. To learn lawmakers’ 2014 and lifetime scores visit www.ecovote.org/scorecard. The printed version of the Scorecard will be available in January 2015.
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