Environment California Program Agenda 2022
California is world-renowned for the beauty of our coastline, our majestic forests and breathtaking mountain and desert landscapes. The innovations of our residents shape the global culture. As the most populous state in the country and the fifth largest economy in the world, what we do here matters. The actions we take can lead the nation and the world towards a 100 percent clean, renewable energy future at a speed that staves off the worst impacts of global warming and protects our most treasured places and the wildlife that call California home.
100% Renewable Energy
For decades, we have had the power to harness clean, abundant energy from the sun and the wind. In 2022, it can be done more efficiently and cheaply than ever before. Yet, we’re still producing, consuming and wasting energy in ways that do lasting damage to our environment and our health. We can have healthier communities right now, and a livable future for generations to come — but to get there, we need to rapidly transform the way we produce and consume energy.
California should accelerate our commitment to 100% clean electricity by 2030, and take the needed steps to make that vision a reality, including programs for:
- A Million Solar Batteries: Catching the sun on existing rooftops across the state is critical to meet greenhouse gas reduction goals. We’ve built over a million solar roofs, now we need to build a more resilient electricity grid with a million solar batteries so that we can save that solar for later and stop reliance on fossil fuels when the sun sets.
- Solar Net metering: We support more solar on rooftops by defending fair net metering rates for residential solar users and opposing solar penalty fees that would discourage solar adoption.
- The Solar Access Act: We support statewide adoption of the Dept of Energy’s free SolarAPP, to automate rooftop solar permits, stop customer delays, cut red tape and reduce customer costs.
- Solar Strong: We support building resilient communities by putting solar panels paired with battery storage on K-12 public schools, libraries, fire stations and other critical infrastructure across California to build a stronger grid with cooling centers in every community.
- Go Big on Offshore Wind: Building on the passage of AB525, the offshore wind bill in 2021, we will work to make sure the CEC sets a statewide goal of at least 10 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2045, and ensure that we do so while protecting our vibrant marine ecology. We also support investing in grid updates so we can go big on offshore wind.
- Solar on Superstores: We support taking advantage of the plentiful rooftop space on big box stores in our state with new requirements for rooftop solar and storage on shopping centers.
- Geothermal Energy: We support tapping into more geothermal power in our state and finding ways to safely extract lithium from areas like the Salton Sea.
- Electric Buildings: Our built environment no longer has to pollute the air and contribute to climate change. We support energy efficiency measures along with electrifying home heating, cooling, hot water and cooking so that the sun and the wind power our buildings, rather than fossil fuels.
Destination: Zero Carbon
We support commitments to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2030 to address climate change. And because transportation is the largest source of air pollution and greenhouse gasses in California, we need to transform our communities to make walking and biking safer, electrify our cars, buses and trucks and improve charging for electric vehicles.
- Public Transit and Safer Streets: We are working to double the amount of trips taken on public transit in the next ten years by promoting robust, clean powered transit systems and smart growth policies. We support more bike lanes and pedestrian walkways to get more people out of their cars and moving from A to B with people powered energy.
- A Million Charging Stations: We support increased investment now in building a statewide electric vehicle charging station network so that all Californians can recharge where they live, work and play and so that buses, trucks and off road vehicles have adequate charging support.
- Clean Cars For All and other Clean Mobility programs: The dirtiest cars in the state can cause the biggest problems when it comes to pollution. We will work to take the dirtiest cars off the road by expanding successful local programs like Clean Cars 4 All to be a statewide program, allowing more people to replace their polluting clunker with a clean, electric vehicle, e-bike or public transit pass.
- GoEV City: We will work to advance ambitious clean transportation plans at the local level in communities across the state to streamline EV permitting and accelerate a transition to a zero- carbon transportation future.
Every minute, America is losing two football fields worth of forest, meadow, grassland, desert, beachfront, riverside or wetland. This continuous loss of nature diminishes not only the richness of our natural world, but also of our own lives and our children’s future.
- Our Oceans: Our state is blessed with sandy beaches, rocky coves, towering sea cliffs and an astonishing variety of ocean wildlife along our shores. Yet, there are challenges, from disastrous oil spills to a deluge of plastic trash flowing into our ocean each day. We will defend our ocean from threats and advocate for stronger protections.
- Wildlife Over Waste: We support efforts to reduce the deluge of single use plastics that require fossil fuels, create needless waste, and harm our wildlife. In particular, eliminating waste from online shopping that has ballooned during the pandemic is a top priority.
- 30 by 30: We support a pathway that will truly protect 30% of our land, ocean and waterways by 2030 and sustainably manage 100% of our state.
- Climate Forests Campaign: Our forests, both in California and across the globe, provide habitat for critical species and help us fight climate change. We support protecting mature forests and trees from logging, degradation and deforestation.
- Marine Protected Areas: On the tenth anniversary of the Marine Life Protection Act, we will work to strengthen and expand California’s network of marine protected areas as well as establish new national marine sanctuaries, like the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary.
- Reconnecting Nature: Human development has fragmented key habitats and increased animal motorist collisions. We support investments in more wildlife corridors to restore migratory paths and reduce this threat.
- Save the Bees: Bees are dying off at an unsustainable rate, with serious consequences for our natural world. They play a vital role as pollinators and losing them would have a devastating ripple effect across all ecosystems. That’s why we’re working to expand bee habitats and stop the use of bee-killing pesticides.
- Save the Monarch: The Western Monarch butterfly population has plummeted in recent years. We support the immediate declaration of the Monarch as an endangered species and an action plan to restore their habitat and food source, and eliminate threats like butterfly-killing pesticides.
Clean Water and Air
- Get the Lead Out: Lead is a potent neurotoxin that affects how our children develop, learn, and behave. Yet, across the country thousands of tests are showing lead in the drinking water at schools, pre-schools, and/or child care centers. Environment California supports policies that get the lead out of water at schools and early childhood programs.
- Safe for Swimming: We support the restoration of natural infrastructure and other key investments to protect our waterways from stormwater runoff and sewage overflows that can make us sick.
- No Offshore Drilling: We support an end to offshore oil drilling. The disastrous Orange County oil spill demonstrates that when we drill, we spill. We must work to end drilling offshore as fast as possible and ensure the current rigs are decommissioned safely and that polluters foot the bill.
- Ban Fracking: We support a ban on fracking and cyclic steam injection. We also support creating public health buffer zones around current fossil fuel facilities to protect people living near oil drilling operations.
- Polluters Pay: We support state and federal programs that ensure polluters pay to clean up toxic sites that threaten our air, water and soil.
State Director, Environment California
Laura directs Environment California's work to tackle global warming, protect the ocean and fight for clean air, clean water, open spaces and a livable planet. Laura stepped into the State Director role in January, 2021 and has been on staff for over twenty years. She has led campaigns to make sure California goes big on offshore wind and to get lead out of school drinking water. As the Environment California Field Director, she worked to get California to go solar, ban single use plastic grocery bags and get on track for 100% clean energy. Laura lives with her family in Richmond, California where she enjoys hiking, yoga and baking.