The use of fossil fuels drives climate change, is damaging to public health (air and water pollution), and wrecks the environment.
There is a green solution: A clean energy transition that protects workers and the environment, providing a million good jobs in California.
Investment to meet California’s existing climate goals and to strengthen the state’s infrastructure and agricultural economy will make new careers available for everyone currently employed in the fossil fuel sector of our state.
As the world’s fifth largest economy, and having embraced environmentalism at least in priniciple, California has a responsibility to demonstrate true leadership now on climate action. Our state will show that economic prosperity and environmental protection can go forward hand-in-hand. Other states and nations will follow the roadmap we provide.
Amid worsening fires, storms, and chronic drought, let us begin by acknowledging that we live in a time of environmental emergency and then adopt a legislative program that moves our state rapidly to carbon neutrality and transitions workers into good union jobs in the new, clean energy economy.
The science is clear. All we need now is the political will. Legislators should advocate and work hard every day to pass a California Green New Deal.
“Rooftop solar power is an essential tool for California to meet its ambitious climate and clean energy goals. California has become the nation’s solar energy leader by adopting policies that have nurtured and grown the state’s market for distributed solar panels on homes and businesses consistently, year after year.
Rooftop solar is a uniquely powerful and beneficial way to reach California’s clean energy goals – reducing conflicts between land preservation and renewable energy production, reducing the need for expensive long-distance transmission infrastructure, and helping to build an electricity system more resilient to wildfires and other climate-related disasters.
Today, however, utilities and their allies are pushing for major rollbacks to the state’s key policy for compensating solar panel owners for the surplus energy they share back to the electric grid – called ‘net metering.’ Such a rollback would likely slow down rooftop solar adoption dramatically, threatening California’s continued clean energy progress.”
— Tony Dutzik and Bryn Huxley-Reicher, Frontier Group; Laura Deehan, Environment California Research & Policy Center; Bronte Payne, Environment America Research & Policy Center
The installation of solar panels on building rooftops should be available to everyone, regardless of where they live. Through subsidies and other forms of assistance, access to this plentiful source of energy has to be extended to all Californians, including disadvantaged communities most exposed to environmental pollution:
“The benefits of rooftop solar are many for the communities [of color] we serve. Installing solar panels helps lower the monthly electric bills of families, the industry creates good-paying jobs, and, most importantly, the more rooftop solar, the lower the rate of dirty emissions generally and specifically in our communities.” — Executive Director Francisco Moreno, Coalition for Environmental Equity and Economics
Should fossil fuel $$$ shape California environmental policy?
“Teaming up with Big Oil to delay action on the climate crisis is simply unconscionable when the impacts from climate inaction are hurting Californians now – families have lost their homes to fires, drought is costing workers their jobs, and our kids’ future is in question. Voters want California’s Senate leaders to show climate courage and stand up to big oil interests so we can get serious about protecting California’s environment, economy, and our children’s future.” — Mary Creasman, CEO, California Environmental Voters
Standing up to fossil fuel interests will require, however, that the Democratic Party is no longer funded by them. Eight California Democratic Party caucuses, including the Environmental Caucus, have issued the statement: “Our Party is committed to democratic governance at every level (town, state, nation), and that includes inside our own political party!” True democracy requires that the Democratic Party no longer accept contributions from the oil and gas industries. Grassroots Democrats support that proposition. The executive board of the Party, however, is delaying a vote on the “No Fossil Fuel Money” proposal.