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December 2022 Newsletter

Local Action for a Better World

Urgent action alert: save rooftop solar!

Here we go again! This Thursday, December 15, the California Public Utilities Commission will meet to consider new rules about how rooftop solar owners are compensated for the energy they sell back to the grid. The latest proposed rules slash the compensation owners would receive for energy from new solar installations—which would very likely cripple the transition to solar.

Learn more about problems with the new rules in this op-ed.

Please tell Governor Newsom: the CPUC’s most recent proposal is not acceptable, and he must save rooftop solar.

  • Leave a message for the governor on his website.
  • Sign this petition from the Save Rooftop Solar Coalition.
    • Call his office! Lines are open from 9am to 5pm. Here’s a sample script:

    My name is ___, and I live in ____. I have a message for the governor about the CPUC's latest rooftop solar proposal: it’s still too extreme, and you need to step in. California should be doing more, not less, to promote rooftop solar. Please show us you are serious about rate hikes, blackouts, and air pollution. Say no to the utilities’ profit grab, and yes to helping millions of working and middle-class people get solar.

Do it today!

Action item: stop price gouging at the pump

It’s no secret that gas prices—and oil companies’ quarterly profits—have risen dramatically in recent months. On November 29, the California Energy Commission convened a hearing to investigate reasons for the price spikes—but none of the five major oil companies showed up to answer questions.

The next day, Governor Newsom issued this fact-filled proclamation convening a special session of the legislature to impose penalties for price gouging and consider a tax on windfall profits. Substantive work on the legislation will begin in January.

Please take a few moments to let your representatives in Sacramento know that you support the governor’s plans. First, find your assemblymember and senator using this tool; then, email or call them. Here’s a sample message:

Please work to pass laws in accordance with Governor Newsom's proclamation about excessive oil company profits. I agree with the governor that we need to deter price gouging, provide greater regulatory oversight of all segments of the industry, and create a windfall profits tax. These companies are making extreme, record-breaking profits while they cause severe damage to our health and the livability of this planet. It's time to hold polluters accountable and to require increased corporate transparency from this industry.

CARB Scoping Plan: final vote this week

Last month, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released its final 2022 Scoping Plan, meant to lay out the policies and actions that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and get us to carbon neutrality by 2045 or earlier.

In September, CARB’s Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (EJAC) had informed the Board that the draft scoping plan was not aggressive enough to meet legislative goals for reduction of greenhouse gases: the modeling is inaccurate and, as a result, relies too heavily on unproven Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology. Another major flaw is that the Plan doesn’t consider the important role of natural and agricultural lands in drawing down carbon.

Responding to intense public pressure, especially from the EJAC and its allies, the Board directed CARB staff to reconsider elements of the draft plan. To this end, the EJAC submitted highly detailed recommendations for changes to CARB staff.

While the final plan released in November incorporated some of EJAC’s recommendations, the underlying modeling problem has not been corrected, and the plan still relies far too heavily on unproven technologies.

The board will meet on December 15 and 16 to vote on accepting the 2022 Scoping Plan.

LA shutting down all oil and gas drilling

On December 2, the Los Angeles City Council approved a ban on new oil and gas wells in the city. (Yes, there are active and idle wells in the City of Los Angeles.) The ordinance also includes plans to shut down existing wells over the next 20 years and transition oil industry workers to other jobs. Learn more about the new ordinance here and here. This is real progress!

Now, let’s get Contra Costa to follow LA’s lead and shut down the wells to keep fossil fuels in the ground. For a livable climate and for the health of our communities, oil and gas drilling has got to go.

El Cerrito: grassroots action gets results

At a special meeting on December 6, the El Cerrito City Council voted to have a Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) developed. That’s good news—but the really good news is this: the Council also directed the plan developer to include a “policy or ordinance prohibiting natural gas in new construction citywide,” to be adopted even before the CAAP.

The CAAP resolution says the request for an electrification ordinance was made “in response to input received from the community.” Yes!

Also this month, the Council unanimously passed the building electrification and EV charging amendments proposed for the San Pablo Avenue Specific Plan Update.

When the citywide electrification ordinance is adopted, El Cerrito will join Richmond, Hercules, and Martinez, as well as unincorporated areas in the county, in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from buildings. If you live in one of Contra Costa’s fifteen other cities and towns, YOU can make a huge difference by pressing your local government for building electrification.

To get started, shoot us an email at

Happy Holidays,

Emily and Lisa

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©350 Contra Costa Action

This message has not been expressly authorized, requested, or approved by any federal, state, or local candidate, candidate’s committee or their agents, or by any ballot issue committee.

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