August 23, 2016

Assembly Passes Bill to Extend California’s Landmark Climate Program, but Fight Isn’t Over

Statement by Adrienne Alvord, Western States Director, Union of Concerned Scientists

OAKLAND, Calif. (August 23, 2016)—California’s most important climate legislation passed a major hurdle today after the Assembly approved Senate Bill 32 (Pavley) in a 47-29 vote. Now the pressure is on for the Assembly to pass a companion bill, Assembly Bill 197 (Garcia). The fate of California’s latest climate push hangs in the balance, since the bills are linked together. SB 32 would extend and strengthen the landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32, Núñez/Pavley) by requiring the state to reduce heat-trapping pollution to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. AB 197 would increase legislative oversight over the Air Resources Board, the agency tasked with implementing California’s climate laws. Both bills, which have undergone amendments, need to pass concurrence votes in their chambers of origin before the legislative package is sent to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature.

Below is a statement by Adrienne Alvord, UCS Western States Director.

“It’s too early to claim victory in California’s historic fight against climate change. The true test of leadership will come when the Assembly votes on AB 197, as amended by the Senate. Unless Assembly Members approve this crucial companion bill, their vote today will be nothing but a fig leaf.

“All eyes are watching to see whether California will retain its position as a global leader, while protecting its citizens from toxic air pollution and the dangerous effects of climate change, including heat waves, drought, wildfires and sea level rise. If passed and signed into law, the SB 32/AB 197 legislative package will build on the stunning success of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 and send a clear and strong market signal to the businesses and investors that have put California at the forefront of innovation and the clean energy economy.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.