climate legislation & policy

what we do

350SV volunteers weigh in on important climate issues at the local, state, and federal levels. Join one or more of our topic-focused teams, or sign up to be notified about district office visits with our legislators, by checking the boxes on our volunteer sign-up form. Many leg/policy volunteers also join City Teams, which work on local issues with local decision makers.

The Legislation/Policy Team meets on Zoom at 7 pm on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday evenings each month. Our monthly agendas and meeting notes are here. Please join one of our meetings, try us out!

state legislation

Our active legislative team focuses on bills that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and speed California toward our goal of 100 percent renewable electricity, while we take positions on a wide range of environmental measures and climate finance bills. We often work in collaboration with environmental groups around the state. And, we watch the state agencies charged with implementing the programs mandated by the Legislature or the Governor, and prepare comments on plans and policies.

We meet with our local representatives (usually over Zoom these days) on a regular basis. After the 2021 legislative session ends on September 10, we'll be meeting with our Senators and Assembly members to suggest climate bills for 2022, the second year of the current two-year session.

Our volunteers also track the state agency actions that implement laws and the Governor's executive orders. We're paying especially close attention to the California Energy Commission as it updates the state building code to include requirements for building electrification and electric vehicle charging; and to the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which has begun the regular update process for the state's Scoping Plan, the blueprint for implementing our landmark climate change legislation. The more volunteers we have watching agency policy making, the better job we can do commenting and urging bold climate action. Please join us! Scroll down for our signup form.

Priority bills for the remainder of 2021

This has been a tough and disapointing year for climate legislation in Sacramento. Nearly all of the bills we were excited about at the beginning of the year—banning fracking, establishing public health buffers around oil and gas operations, committing to a faster transition to clean energy—have died in committee,  been weakened in the amendment process, or turned into "2-year bills," which means their authors may (or may not) bring them back for another go in January 2022. Below, some of the best survivors. The 2021 session ends on September 10, when all the bills passed by both houses move to the Governor's desk for his approval or veto.

Passed the Senate, now in the Assembly

  • SB 47 (Limón) — Oil and gas: hazardous and idle-deserted wells and production facilities: expenditure limitations: updated reports. Annual funding for well remediation cut in half to get the bill out of the Senate, but still important.

  • SB 596 (Becker) — Greenhouse gases: cement sector: net-zero emissions strategy. Requires CARB to develop a “comprehensive strategy” for making cement plants in California carbon neutral (“net zero emissions”) by 2045. This bill seems to be doing well, but please note that Senator Becker has also picked up provisions on Bonta’s Buy Clean cement bill, in SB 778, now a 2-year bill that we’ll have to fight to pass in 2022.

  • SB 372 (Leyva) Medium- and heavy-duty fleet purchasing assistance program: zero-emission vehicles. The bill would support the conversion of California’s trucking fleets to zero-emission by requiring CARB to set up financial incentives, a grant program, and education for owners of medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

  • SB 27 (Skinner)Carbon sequestration: registry of projects on natural and working lands. Requires agencies to design a framework/strategy to support adoption of carbon sequestration projects on natural and working lands, and a registry of projects. This bill has little opposition.

  • SB 551 (Stern)California Zero-emission Vehicle Authority. This addition to the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development could become very important, depending on results of the recall; and with the departure of Kate Gordon for the U.S. Department of Energy.

 

  • SB 68 (Becker)Building electrification and electric vehicle charging. Also severely weakened in amendments, but a step in the right direction, as electrification is arguably the highest local priority

Passed the Assembly, now in the Senate

  • AB 1395 (Muratsuchi) —The California Climate Crisis Act. Our highest priority bill still moving in Sacramento codifies the policy goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 or sooner, while supporting carbon dioxide removal solutions, carbon capture and storage technologies, and nature-based climate solutions. The bill, facing stiff opposition from oil and gas and associated unions, is designed to counter the fossil fuel industry’s preference to focus on carbon capture and storage in lieu of reducing emissions.

  • AB 1346 (Berman) — Air Pollution from Small Off-road Engines. Requires CARB to adopt regulations prohibiting emissions from small-engine equipment, such as lawn mowers and leaf blowers—and to make funding available for incentives and rebates that will facilitate the switch to electric equipment.

  • AB 896 (Bennett) — Cost recovery from hazardous or abandoned oil and gas wells. Enables the CA Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) to place liens on well owners’ properties sufficient to pay for remediation and cleanup. Also see SB 47.

  • AB 284 (Robert Rivas) — Carbon sequestration on natural and working lands. Requires CARB, in its next Scoping Plan Update, to set a 2045 target for carbon sequestration on natural and working lands, with interim milestones.

  • AB 525 (Chiu)Energy: Offshore Wind Generation. Requires the CA Energy Commission to complete all planning and consultation for offshore wind siting and support, and present a strategic plan to the Legislature and the public by the end of 2022.

  • AB 1110 (Robert Rivas)Zero-emission Vehicles: Accelerates ZEV fleet purchases. Establishes the Office of the CA Clean Fleet Accelerator in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, to facilitate fleet purchasing of EVs, as well as a revolving loan program. 

 

  • AB 585 (Luz Rivas) — Climate Change: Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Program. Establishes this program within the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, to facilitate and coordinate state, regional, and local efforts to mitigate extreme heat and the heat island effect. 

federal issues and legislation

We started 350SV’s federal legislation team in 2020, when the magnitude of the COVID relief bills passed by Congress made clear that the federal response to the pandemic, and specifically to families’ and small businesses’ unprecedented need for support will require a whole-budget rethink when we reach the end of the crisis. At the same time, many of our national partners began lobbying in D.C. for “No Fossil Fuel Bailouts” in stimulus bills.

For the past several months we've been teaming up with 350 Seattle's federal legislation team, sharing the work of analyzing federal bills and also watching the unfolding infrastructure dramas in D.C. We welcome members of other 350 groups to join us!

federal legislation we're watching in 2021

​Here are a few of the bills we are looking at on the federal level.

  • S.1167 (Sanders) — The End Polluter Welfare Act of 2021

  • S.558 (Feinstein) — Addressing Climate Financial Risk Act of 2021

  • H.R. 2826 (Velazquez) — Establish a Global Climate Resilience Strategy

  • H.R. 2570 (Casten) — Climate Risk Disclosure Act of 2021

  • H.R. 744 (Clarke) — FEMA Climate Change Preparedness Act

Resources

 

For more information, contact:

Janet Cox, Legislative Team Lead

 
 

For more information, contact leg-policy@350siliconvalley.org