September 2023 Newsletter

Local Action for a Better World

Action Alert: It’s time to call Sacramento!

Several important climate bills have made it to their “second house”—bills that originated in the Senate are now headed to the Assembly floor, and vice versa. Legislators will be voting this week, 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… but AB 421 could be heard as early as this morning, Tuesday the 5th! Please call your senator as soon as possible to get this important bill passed.

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

Call Your Senator

Make sure your senator knows you’re looking for their YES vote on these:

  • AB 421 – Referendum Accountability brings real reforms to the state ballot referendum process, which the oil and gas, tobacco, and other industries have used to block good laws. [9/5 Ed. Update: Passed today! On the governor's desk!]
  • 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 and gas 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 senator:

“My name is _________, and I live in __________. As a constituent, I’m urging the senator 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.”
Bill Dodd  District 3 916-651-4003
Steve Glazer   District 7  916-651-4007
Nancy Skinner   District 9  916-651-4009


Call Your Assemblymember

These three bills really need your assemblymember’s YES vote:

  • SB 253, the Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act, requires large corporations doing business in California—those earning more than $1 billion per year—to publicly disclose their carbon emissions in a manner that’s clear and easy to understand.
  • SB 261, the Climate-Related Financial Risk Act, requires large companies that do business in California to submit annual climate-related financial risk reports to the CA Secretary of State.
  • SB 674 – Refinery Air Pollution Transparency and Reduction sets minimum statewide standards for the refinery fence-line monitoring program, ensuring that noxious pollutants are measured and surrounding communities are notified when pollutant levels threaten health and safety.

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

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

  • SB 253 to make large corporations tell the truth about their carbon emissions
  • SB 261 to let the public know about climate-related financial risks, and
  • SB 674 to protect the health of people living near refineries.”
Lori Wilson  District 11 916-319-2011
Buffy Wicks  District 14  916-319-2014
Tim Grayson   District 15  916-319-2015
Rebecca Bauer-Kahan   District 16 916-319-2016

That’s it! These elected officials work for us—let’s tell them what to do!


California takes a stand against fossil fuels

Amazing good news! On Friday, September 1, our state legislature passed a resolution urging the federal government to support a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. Such a treaty would provide “an international mechanism to manage a global transition away from coal, oil, and gas."

Senate Joint Resolution 2 also calls for a “just transition” in California, phasing out fossil fuel production while protecting the livelihoods of affected workers. To find out more about this historic resolution, click here.


New county plans going public

This week, Contra Costa County is set to unveil draft revisions of the General Plan and the Climate Action Plan (CAP), two documents that guide policy in the county’s unincorporated areas.

A key issue in the General Plan is land use policy, especially in regard to oil and gas drilling. The CAP sets targets and outlines strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Important stuff!

Both will be presented to the Board of Supervisors’ Sustainability Committee on Monday, September 18, from 1pm to 3pm. To attend via Zoom, visit the Committee’s web page and select the meeting’s agenda (available a few days prior), which will include the link.

The Plans’ public comment period will remain open through 2023, so we’ll have some time to consider our response. To find out what’s in the plans—and what needs to be improved—watch this space!


Yes, counties can ban drilling

On August 3, the State Supreme Court sided with Chevron et al and upheld a lower court ruling against Monterey County’s Measure Z, which banned fracking and limited other oil operations. 

Although the ruling dismayed climate activists all over the state, there’s reason to take heart: because it’s based on language found in an old Monterey County statute, it doesn’t pertain generally to local authorities’ right to ban oil and gas production. Land use policy is set at the local level. For more information, see this analysis on the Sunflower Alliance website.

Action item: sign petition to ban drilling

In light of the ruling against Measure Z, it’s more important than ever to speak out against oil and gas drilling here in Contra Costa. To advocate for the strongest possible General Plan and CAP, now is the time to sign Sunflower Alliance’s petition supporting a countywide ban. Please, if you haven’t already, sign here today—and share with your friends!


The Scale of Hope online Sept 26, 6-8pm

We’re teaming up with Contra Costa County Library to present this inspiring documentary followed by a Q&A session. The Scale of Hope follows Molly Kawahata as she prepares for an expedition in the Alaska Range while working to create a new climate narrative that centers her favorite question—what can I do to help?—and provides a surprising answer. It's a story about struggle, hope, and what it will take to solve the greatest issue of our time.

Please join us! This event is free, but registration is required.


The Scale of Hope screening and discussion

Tuesday, September 26, from 6 to 8pm

Register here 


Action to end the era of fossil fuels

Sunday, Sept 17, 11am in Sacramento

The Oil and Gas Action Network is calling on all Californians to gather at the state Capitol to demand that our leaders, Biden and Newsom, stop permitting fossil fuels, make a plan to phase out oil and gas, and declare a climate emergency. The event is part of a global day of action ahead of the United Nations Climate Ambition Summit in New York City.

This family-friendly action will feature a giant puppet show, carnival games, kayaks in the river, performers and speakers who will share how you can get involved in ending the era of fossil fuels and building a better future together.

Join in the call for climate sanity! To get more information, register, and arrange a ride, click here.

Thank you

Emily and Lisa

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