May 2023 Newsletter

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Local Action for a Better World

Action Alert: It’s time to call Sacramento!

This is the week our state legislators will be voting on several key climate bills, so it’s time for you to make two quick phone calls to your senator and assemblymember. Elected officials pay more attention to constituents’ phone calls than to emails. When you call their Sacramento office, the staffer who answers the phone will be happy to take your message.

We don’t know exactly when each bill will be voted on, so please call today!

Not sure who represents you? You can use this tool to find the names of your senator and assemblymember.

Call your senator

These three Senate bills really need your senator’s YES vote:

  • SB 252 – Divestment prohibits California’s biggest pension funds, for Public Employees (CalPERS) and Teachers (CalSTRS), from investing in fossil fuel companies, and requires that they divest any current investments by 2030.
  • SB 233 – EV Bidirectional Capability addresses the use of electric vehicles as a source of power for grid reliability and emergency backups. It requires the Energy Commission to establish goals to accelerate the use of vehicle-to-home, vehicle-to-building, and vehicle-to-grid technology. It also makes funds available to provide higher incentive levels for such bidirectional-capable EVs.
  • SB 674 – Refinery Air Pollution Transparency and Reduction creates a statewide standard for the refinery fence-line monitoring program, ensuring that noxious pollutants are measured and best practices deployed to protect the wellbeing of surrounding communities.

You can really make a difference by calling your senator and leaving a message like this:

“My name is _________, and I live in __________. As a constituent, I’m urging the senator to vote YES on three very important climate bills:

  • SB 252 to stop public investment in the fossil fuel industry
  • SB 233 to improve the grid’s reliability, and
  • SB 674 to protect the health of people living near refineries.”

Bill Dodd

District 3


Steve Glazer

District 7


Nancy Skinner

District 9


Call your assemblymember

On the Assembly side, please call about these three key bills. Make sure your assemblymember knows you’re looking for their YES vote on:

  • AB 421 – Referendum Accountability brings real reforms to the state ballot initiative process, which the oil and gas, tobacco, and other industries have used to block good laws.
  • AB 579 – Zero-Emission Schoolbuses requires all new schoolbus purchases and contracts to be ZEVs by 2035.
  • AB 1167 – Orphan Well Prevention requires companies that buy oil wells to post a bond covering cleanup costs after the well stops producing. Read why this is important here.

Here’s a suggested message for your assemblymember:

“My name is _________, and I live in __________. As a constituent, I’m urging the assemblymember to vote YES on three very important climate bills:

  • AB 421 to stop powerful industries from overturning good laws
  • AB 579 to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and
  • AB 1167 to make sure the public doesn’t get stuck with the cost of cleaning up oil wells.”

Lori Wilson

District 11


Buffy Wicks

District 14


Tim Grayson

District 15


Rebecca Bauer-Kahan

District 16


That’s it! We’ve got the power—let’s use it!

Court rules against Berkeley’s building electrification ordinance

On April 17, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Berkeley’s 2019 ordinance banning natural gas hookups in most new construction. Bad news, yes—but not a fatal blow to the rapidly growing movement to make buildings all-electric. The ruling does not affect many of the 77 building-electrification ordinances passed by California cities and counties in the last four years.

This Earth Justice article tells how municipalities can enact BE ordinances using legal frameworks other than the one Berkeley used.

The judges based their decision on the federal Energy Policy Conservation Act, which sets efficiency standards for appliances. State and local governments are prevented from passing any law that goes against these requirements—but does that rule even apply to the Berkeley ordinance? This article on UC’s Legal Planet website explains the ruling and raises key questions about it.

This court decision is not a game-changer—the movement to transition to all-electric buildings is unstoppable.

Making solar more affordable

Using free energy from the sun to power our homes is clearly a fine idea—but installing a rooftop solar system can be expensive. SunWork, a nonprofit working in the Bay Area and along the Central Coast, aims to make solar energy more affordable and widespread with the help of trained volunteers.

SunWork helps homeowners whose utility bills aren’t high enough to make the cost of solar installation make sense otherwise. They also help small nonprofits like churches make the switch to solar.

SunWork volunteers receive free, expert-level training in all aspects of solar installation. Do you know someone who might benefit from learning these skills? To find out more, visit

Solar Lobby Day is June 6

Investor-owned utility lobbyists are at the State Capitol every day, spreading misinformation about rooftop solar to your elected officials. Lawmakers need to hear directly from you, their voters, about why they should stick up for the public and keep rooftop solar growing.

So, our friends at Solar Rights Alliance are planning Solar Lobby Day in Sacramento on Tuesday, June 6. If you can be in the capital that day, they’ll provide all the support you need—rideshares, training, a meeting schedule, and lunch. Sign up for Solar Lobby Day here. Questions? Shoot an email to

MCE rebates for EV charging

By now, most of us know about MCE’s options to help residential energy customers switch to renewable energy sources. Did you know they also offer an electric vehicle (EV) charging rebate to businesses and multifamily properties? The MCE rebate program includes significant savings on hardware and installation costs—as well as technical assistance to get those Level 2 chargers up and running.

Attention Pinole Residents!

The City of Pinole would like to have your thoughts about plastic waste. They’re looking for ways to transition away from single-use plastic bags and foodware for a healthier, cleaner Pinole.

To be part of the solution to the plastics problem, please fill out this brief survey.

Emily and Lisa

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The time for climate action is NOW!

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