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How Did Climate Bills Fare this Legislative Session?

By Denika Tamayo and Beth Chopp, Co-Chairs, Legislative Team

SD350 Zoom with State Senator Toni Atkins's staff
Screenshot: SanDiego350 volunteers meeting with State Senator Toni Atkins’s staff via Zoom

Thanks to you, this year SanDiego350 helped make major progress on climate in California!

The 2022 Legislative session concluded on August 31, and all of the outreach, comments, phone calls, emails, and texts that you made to the California Legislature made a big difference. Thank you, climate activists!With your help, SanDiego350 helped pass several of the climate bills we supported. Those bills are now signed into law by the Governor. Read on for all the details.

A Major Victory . . . We Have a Setbacks Bill!

You read that right! We finally have legally-required setbacks from oil and gas production wells! After a decade of major effort by a large coalition of climate and community groups, including rallies, demonstrations, two sets of failed legislation, and lengthy testimony at the California Geological Energy Management Division (CalGEM), we have a setbacks bill. SB 1137 protects the public health of California’s frontline communities by creating a minimum health and safety distance of 3,200-feet between sensitive receptors, such as residences, schools, childcare facilities, playgrounds, hospitals, or nursing homes, and new or reworked oil and gas wells. This bill is part of Governor Newsom’s “Climate Package” introduced late in the legislative session: while we understand that the package still includes some troubling compromises, taken together, it represents the most significant action on ending fossil fuel extraction by the California Legislature in many years.

UPDATE: Industry is already circulating petitions to recall this important bill. Don’t sign them! Read this Los Angeles Times editorial for more information.

7 Other Important Bills We Supported

Here’s a short recap of SD350 Legislative Committe’s other supported bills and their status

SB 260: (Wiener and Stern) Climate Corporate Accountability Act – Failed on Assembly floor

Requires United States-based businesses with annual revenues in excess of one billion dollars to annually report, to a nonprofit emissions registry selected by the Air Resources Board (ARB), the full range of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions attributable to the business, including direct emissions, electricity use, and indirect emissions from the business’ supply chain and other sources.

SB 1137: (Gonzalez and Limón) Oil and Gas Operations:  Location Restrictions – Passed by Legislature, Approved by Governor, and Chaptered 9/16/22

Prohibits the Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) from approving any notice of intention (NOI) within a health protection zone, as defined, except for under specified circumstances. Requires all oil or gas production facilities or wells with a wellhead within a health protection zone to comply with health, safety, and environmental requirements, as provided, and comply with specified community communication and water sampling requirements.

SB 1203: (Becker) Zero Net Emissions of greenhouse gasses: State agency operations – Passed by Legislature, Approved by Governor, and Chaptered 9/16/22 

This bill establishes the intent of the Legislature that all state agencies aim to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from their operations no later than January 1, 2035, or as soon as feasible thereafter. Requires the Department of General Services (DGS), in consultation with the Air Resources Board (ARB) to identify actions and investments necessary to achieve the goal, inventory state agency emissions, and report progress to the Legislature.

SB 1314, No New Carbon Capture for Enhanced Oil Recovery: (Limón) Oil and Gas: Class II injection wells: Enhanced Oil Recovery: Passed by Legislature, Approved by Governor, and Chaptered 9/16/22 

Prohibits the injection of a concentrated carbon dioxide (CO2) fluid from a CO2 capture or CO2 capture and sequestration project from use as an injection fluid for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). The dirty fuels industry uses this technology to produce oil that would not be recoverable otherwise. The use of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery is not currently used in California, and thanks to this bill, it never will be.

AB 1640: (Ward, et al.) Regional climate networks: Regional climate action plans – Failed 

Requires the Office of Planning and Research (OPR) to facilitate the creation of regional climate networks and create standards for the development of a regional climate adaptation action plan to support the implementation of regional climate adaptation efforts.

AB 1857:(Cristina Garcia) Solid Waste (Incinerators) – Passed by Legislature, Approved by Governor, and Chaptered 9/16/22

Repeals the provision of law that allows jurisdictions to count up to 10% of the waste sent to transformation toward their 50% diversion requirement. Creates the Zero-Waste Equity Grant Program to support strategies and investments in communities transitioning to a zero-waste circular economy.

AB 2419: (Bryan) Environmental Justice:  Federal Infrastructure and Jobs Act – Failed 

This bill requires a state agency administering federal funds under the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), as specified, to allocate a minimum of 40% of those funds to projects that provide a direct benefit to disadvantaged communities and an additional 10% to projects that provide direct benefits to low-income households.

The Fight Goes On: Join Us to Meet with Your Legislators

Our meetings with legislators will continue through the fall via Zoom. If you’re interested in meeting with your legislator to support our climate goals, please send a message to Denika Tamayo, Legislative Team Co-Chair (denika@sandiego350.org). 

With deep appreciation for your continued work,

Denika Tamayo and Beth Chopp

Co-chairs, SanDiego350 Legislative Committee

Your donations mobilize San Diegans to fight climate change and climate injustice through bold policy campaigns, education and outreach, and youth empowerment. Thank you!

This post is an edited version of a similar post by 350BayArea.