2024 Legislative Priorities

California Environmental Voters (EnviroVoters) lobbies in Sacramento and across the state to expand access to democracy, to take bold action on climate, and to protect and enhance the land, air, water, and health of all California communities. View our federal priorities here. Check out our top state priority bills and see where they are in the legislative process:

Top 6 Campaigns

A Strong Climate Bond 
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California decision-makers have cut funding for critical community resilience programs in the last year. And recently, Governor Newsom has proposed further cuts and delays for climate in the state budget. We are running out of time to invest in climate resilience and clean energy, and to protect our biodiversity amid droughts, floods, and wildfire smoke. 

Placing the biggest possible climate bond on the ballot this year may be our last big chance to invest in climate this decade and in this current administration. If we don’t pass a climate bond this year, we may have to wait until it’s too late in the decade for another chance to get one through, blowing past the 2030 climate tipping point scientists have warned us about. After years of stalling on large-scale climate investments, we cannot spend any more time debating the need for this critical tranche of investments.

Ending Oil and Gas Subsidies
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While penalizing price gouging and launching lawsuits against major oil players have been impactful measures, these campaigns underscore the persistent issue of massive tax benefits still being granted to the fossil fuel industry. Especially in the face of a budget deficit this year with massive cuts to climate priorities proposed, ending oil and gas subsidies will quite literally cover the cost of the climate budget priorities that have been cut.

We urge policymakers to identify and remove tax expenditures benefiting the oil and gas industry, including provisions like the Water’s Edge Election and Research and Development Credit. We need immediate action to ensure these funds are redirected toward climate programs and initiatives instead.

Green Hydrogen or Bust!
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Hydrogen does have some benefits as an energy source for hard-to-electrify sectors, but we should be electrifying first wherever we can to save money and the planet. But hydrogen also has the potential to create more harm and more emissions if it’s not produced and used in the smartest way. Truly green hydrogen production must adhere to these considerations that environmental and environmental justice organizations have been calling for to truly be a climate and clean air benefit:

1. California must only produce hydrogen exclusively through truly clean sources of energy (solar, wind, and geothermal).
2. Rigorous monitoring must be implemented to prevent leaks, minimize transportation, and prevent the use of hydrogen in sectors better served by electrification.
3. Community engagement must be mandated to mitigate negative impacts on disadvantaged communities.
4. Production must be reasonably limited in its use of resources, as hydrogen fuel is very energy and water-intensive to produce
5. Short-term warming effects of hydrogen must be considered.
6. Green hydrogen production must adhere to the three pillars of 1) new clean supply, 2) hourly matching and 3) deliverability which will support the deployment of clean hydrogen in this decade. Without these, hydrogen will increase emissions.

SB 252 (Gonzalez): Fossil Fuel Divestment*
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California’s multibillion-dollar retirement pension funds still invest billions of dollars in the fossil fuel industry. Teachers and state workers are helpless to stop their retirement dollars from investing in polluting industries that harm them, their students and the people they serve. In addition, the risk that comes with investing in the fossil fuel industry has hurt, not helped, the returns on their pensions. 

SB 252, the Fossil Fuel Divestment Act, would prohibit CalPERS and CalSTRS from investing in the top 200 fossil fuel companies by 2031. This bill is a key pillar in the Climate Accountability Package launched in 2023.

FULL BILL TEXT

SB 1497 (Menjivar): Polluter Pays
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Taxpayers are bearing the brunt of the costs of the climate crisis, but it should be giant corporations paying for the damage they caused instead. SB 1497 would require the first comprehensive study to quantify the costs to California caused by the climate crisis and establish a program for the largest corporate emitters of greenhouse gas that have done business in California to pay a fee proportional to the damage their pollution will continue to cause to the state. Importantly, this bill is based on strict liability and is separate from, would not preempt and is not a substitute for California’s current litigation seeking accountability from fossil fuel companies.

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AB 1176 (Zbur): Local Electrification Planning*
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Transportation systems and buildings contribute to most of California’s emissions. AB 1176 focuses on the intersection of these two sectors and ensuring that local governments across California are building the infrastructure to transition to zero-emission vehicles and buildings.

This bill would codify electrification considerations into general planning processes at the local level and would require early coordination with load-serving entities or utility providers to meet the need for grid infrastructure upgrades.

FULL BILL TEXT

Other top bills

* 2-year bill

Top bills that did not make it through

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We hope you can join us on Friday, May 31, 2024 in Los Angeles for an evening of music, drinks, and small bites at LA’s coolest party as we celebrate this year’s Badass in Green Honorees! Through April 26, we are running our Earth Week Special — buy one ticket, get another one free.