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SACRAMENTO, CA — Today, California Environmental Voters (EnviroVoters) released the following statement on its 2022 California Environmental Scorecard, a comprehensive analysis of where the state’s political leaders stand on the environment and the climate crisis.
After years of inaction, 2022 was an unprecedented year of climate leadership. California has proven that it can still make the big changes necessary to solve the climate crisis – and do it equitably. The Golden State has earned itself an A- for its action on the climate crisis.
There’s a lot to celebrate from 2022: massive budget investments in clean transportation, building electrification, clean energy, and resilience as well as a suite of transformative policies on health buffer zones from drilling, accelerated and strengthened carbon neutrality goals, and first-in-the-world single-use packaging regulation. Leadership prioritizing the climate crisis and setting a common agenda was a crucial pillar to this success. Although 2022’s historic $54 billion climate budget was a cornerstone of last year’s climate action, the Governor proposed a $6 billion cut in his January 10th budget proposal.
“If California can continue this climate courage in future years, we can create the global roadmap to solving the climate crisis and advancing justice,” said Mary Creasman, CEO, EnviroVoters. “We should all be energized by the vision and focus of our state leaders and their courage in taking on corporate polluters. Now, we must take the momentum of 2022 and build on it every single year. We need to make sure that we sustain this level of leadership and action moving forward.”
“There is a long history of disinvestment in Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. Combined with over-reliance on fossil fuels, our communities and neighborhoods continue to face extreme environmental and health inequalities. California has an opportunity to lead the country in showing that climate funding is critical to advancing social justice in these under-resourced communities,” said Assemblymember Isaac Bryan (D- Los Angeles), a member of the 2022 Climate Action Caucus and the Climate Justice Hero. “We must build on the climate action of 2022. Now is the time for bold and transformative investments to improve the lives of people in the communities that are too often left behind.”
Corporate polluters continue to try and influence policy in Sacramento. An analysis included in the Scorecard reveals that a shocking 65% of California state legislators accepted direct campaign contributions from oil companies and major oil industry Political Action Committees (PACs).
But oil money is toxic and the November 2022 election makes that clear. Climate justice candidates took home big wins in the November 2022 election, winning 49 of 56 state legislative races and 37 of 40 congressional races. Californians want to see their elected officials take action on the climate crisis and stand up to corporate polluters.
“It is imperative that the Senate continues the momentum of 2022 to introduce legislative proposals and secure budget funds to address the existential threat of climate change,” said Senator John Laird (D – Santa Cruz), a member of the 2022 Climate Action Caucus and the Climate Pathfinder. “Alongside our partners in the State Assembly and Governor’s Administration, we must forge a path to meet California’s appropriately ambitious climate goals. Together, we can decarbonize the California economy, green the transportation sector, and build a more just future for all Californians.”
“Over the last few years, our state has experienced record-breaking heat waves. This may be our new normal, but it does not mean we should remain complacent. As state legislators, we have an obligation to propose bold policy that can mitigate these extreme weather events and protect Californians. I am proud to have worked on environmental policies and I look forward to working with my colleagues on legislation that protects our environmental justice communities and leads our nation as our state passes policy to navigate climate change,” said Assemblywoman Luz Rivas (D – San Fernando Valley), a member of the 2022 Climate Action Caucus and the Sustainability Star. “Thank you California Environmental Voters for recognizing the diligent work of the Legislature as we push forward-thinking legislation that prioritizes our planet.”
With less than seven years left to address the most severe impacts of climate change, EnviroVoters is calling on legislators to build on the momentum of 2022 and invest in climate solutions at the rate and scale required to address our climate challenge before time runs out at the end of this decade.
“We need to make sure that 2022 wasn’t a one-hit wonder, but rather the start of a new era of climate action in California. In 2023, our state leaders need to ensure long-term, sustainable, and equitable funding to address the climate crisis, continue to push bold policies that transition us off fossil fuels and towards a better future, and hold corporate polluters accountable,” said Creasman.
The 2022 California Environmental Scorecard includes the following highlights:
California’s Overall Score: 91%
Governor Newsom’s Score: 84%
28 Legislators received a 100% Environmental Score in 2022: Assemblymembers Buffy Wicks, Christopher Ward, Phil Ting, Mark Stone, Miguel Santiago, Luz Rivas, Eloise Gomez Reyes, Al Muratsuchi, Kevin Mullin, Tina McKinnor, Kevin McCarty, Ash Kalra, Matt Haney, Laura Friedman, Mike Fong, Isaac Bryan, Tasha Boerner Horvath, Richard Bloom, Steve Bennett, Rebecca Bauer-Kahan & Senators Scott Wiener, Henry Stern, Nancy Skinner, Monique Limon, John Laird, Sydney Kamlager, Lena Gonzalez, and Ben Allen
Members of the 2022 Climate Action Caucus (environmental champions fighting for bold policy change to address the climate crisis in Sacramento): Senator Ben Allen, Senator John Laird, Assemblymember Isaac Bryan, Assemblymember Luz Rivas, Assemblymember Phil Ting, and former Assemblymember Christina Garcia.
Members of the 2022 Polluter Caucus (legislators who refused to support climate policy, even during an epic climate year with many opportunities to lead): Senator. Josh Newman, Senator Melissa Hurtado, Assemblymember Cottie Petrie Norris, Assemblymember Adam Gray, and the entire Republican Party.
Percent of Legislators Who Accepted Oil Money: 65%
Percent of Democrats in the State Legislature Who Received Failing Grades: 23%
Percent of Republicans in the State Legislature Who Accepted Oil Money: 100%
Percent of Democrats in the State Legislature Who Accepted Oil Money: 54%
Average Score of Democrats Who Accepted Oil Money: 64%
Average Score of Democrats Who Didn’t Accept Oil Money: 94%
Overall Average Democratic Score: 77%
Overall Average Republican Score: 0%
To view the full California Environmental Scorecard, visit here.
ABOUT CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL VOTERS
California Environmental Voters (formerly the California League of Conservation Voters) believes the climate crisis is here and this moment requires transformative change. California has the policy solutions to stop climate change but lacks the political will to do it at the rate and scale that’s necessary. EnviroVoters exists to build the political power to solve the climate crisis, advance justice, and create a roadmap for global action. We organize voters, elect and train candidates, and hold lawmakers accountable for bold policy change. We won’t stop until we have resilient, healthy, thriving communities, and a democracy and economy that is just and sustainable for all. Join us at www.envirovoters.org and on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. See more press releases.