t on record, according to Europe’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, leading to extended drought in the western states. (Anatoly Vartanov/Adobe Stock

February 14, 2022   

By Suzanne Potter

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This Valentine’s Day, climate advocates want policymakers to show the planet some love.

More than 450 local lawmakers from the nonprofit group Elected Officials to Protect America have signed an open letter calling on President Joe Biden and congressional leaders to declare a climate emergency and pass the climate sections of the Build Back Better Act.

Clair Brown, economics professor emerita at the University of California-Berkeley, said time is running out.

“The UN climate scientists made it very clear that, for us to have a chance to keep the planet from overheating and making life uninhabitable for people, we have to reduce our carbon pollution 50% by 2030,” Brown pointed out. “We only have eight years.”

The Build Back Better Act stalled in the U.S. Senate in December, and it is unclear when or if it will be revived. The bill would invest heavily in renewable energy and electric vehicles, and would create a new Civilian Climate Corps.

Yassamin Ansari, a city councilwoman in Phoenix, said the Build Back Better Act would be the largest investment in climate action in U.S. history.

“The Build Back Better Act includes more than $550 billion for climate action,” Ansari noted. “It’ll put the United States on a path to dramatically cut the pollution driving climate change, while building a just and equitable economy, with union jobs.”

Christian Brock, CEO of Elected Officials to Protect America, said he’d like to see the California Geologic Energy Management Division follow through on its plan to require buffer zones between oil wells and neighborhoods.

“We are asking for Gov. Newsom to end fossil-fuel production,” Brock outlined. “To do 3,200-foot setbacks for communities near oil and gas well production.”

The effects of climate change are apparent in the Golden State, where intense heat waves and extended drought are the new normal. And last year alone, wildfires blackened more than 2.5 million acres of land in California.


Letter Elected Officials to Protect America 2022
House Resolution 5376 2022

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