CARB needs to look towards the future

By Ramona du Houx

July 27, 2022

Elected Officials to Protect America (EOPA) California Chapter, an organization with over 440 Californian elected officials, thanks Governor Gavin Newsom for his letter to California Air Resources Board (CARB) telling them to do more for the climate crisis. His bold direction in the letter instructing CARB to ensure their plan will meet the state’s climate goals gives EOPA CA hope that the Governor is serious about solving the climate crisis.

“I’m heartened by the letter Governor Newsom sent to the California Air Resources Board calling for an end to new gas-fired power plants, a push for offshore wind generation and the construction of millions of climate-friendly homes as a way of curbing carbon emissions,” said Carmen Ramirez, Ventura County Supervisor Elected Officials to Protect America California Leadership Council Co-Chair. “Yet, there are millions living on the frontlines of fossil fuel pollution in communities of color who breathe in deadly toxic air daily and are sent to the emergency room all too often, and perhaps ultimately lose their lives. It’s time to accelerate CA’s climate goals and transition more rapidly to a clean energy economy. The Governor must start by stopping any new oil and gas well permitting.”

According to a Harvard study, around the globe over 8 million people die annually because of fossil fuel pollution. The report said that in CA over 34,000 Californians die prematurely from fossil fuel pollution. Human made climate change-inducing greenhouse gas emissions have caused record droughts, fires, floods, super storms and rising seas that have led to mass migrations and have exacerbated conflicts, fueling wars. We still are witnessing the horrors in Ukraine from Putin’s war machine funded by fossil fuel profits. 

Governor Newsom mentioned offshore wind as a major area CARB should take into account in it’s planning

For all these reasons and more, over 440 elected officials, representing more than half of Californians, have signed an EOPA California letter urging immediate action for him to stop issuing new fossil fuel permits, phase out fossil fuels, and institute 2,500-foot buffers between existing drill operations and community sites, while ensuring a just transition for workers in the fossil fuel industries as the state transitions to 100 percent clean energy. 

“Governor Newsom has the power with the stroke of a pen to take bolder action to protect our communities and climate from oil and gas production while scaling up 100 percent clean energy production. We appreciate that the Governor has taken major steps in these areas, yet the magnitude of the global climate crisis demands action at the same scale,” said Dominic Frongillo, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Elected Officials to Protect America. “California can live up to its reputation of being a climate leader and invest more in green energy solutions like offshore wind to ensure the state’s energy independence. It’s time to accelerate a 100 percent clean energy economy that provides union jobs, secures our energy supply and environmental justice, lowers families’ energy bills and allows every youth in our state to grow up breathing clean air to live long lives. We have the technologies. Governor Newsom has the power to make California the beacon for the world to follow.”

The United Nation’s 2022 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report warns that nations aren’t doing nearly enough to protect people, their cities, farms, and coastlines from the hazards that the climate crisis has unleashed. Delaying action any longer will be catastrophic. We have a, “brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a livable and sustainable future for all.”