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California leaders must save lives, not polluters

Assemblymember Laura Friedman (speaking) with other climate advocates at a rally supporting climate investments. Photo by Andy Smith / Environment California.

Right now, Governor Newsom and the state legislature are in critical budget negotiations. The governor will issue his revised budget proposal on May 14, then the legislature will have until June 15 to vote on the final budget. The governor’s budget still includes billions in potential cuts to climate and clean air investments that would have disastrous consequences, especially for communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis. And despite a deficit of up to $73 billion, Newsom has yet to eliminate taxpayer-funded subsidies for the oil and gas industry. As communities across California struggle with some of the worst air quality in the nation, lawmakers need to strengthen clean air and climate programs, not cut them to preserve handouts for corporate polluters. 

Our team joined California climate leaders at a press conference at the Capitol last week to defend investments in clean air. Speakers included Senator Dave Min and Assemblymembers Dawn Addis, Damon Connelly, Rick Chavez Zbur, Laura Friedman, and Chris Ward, who spoke to the importance of investing in climate-smart transportation and housing, clean energy, and building decarbonization. The day after the press conference, California Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee Chair Scott Wiener echoed the importance of funding climate solutions during a webinar hosted by The Climate Center. 

Case in point, the California Natural Resources Agency released exciting new targets for nature-based climate solutions last week. These targets will support the capacity of California’s wildlands, farms, ranches, and urban spaces to absorb more carbon than they emit and build resilience to climate impacts. As exciting as that sounds, these targets mean little without state investment to back them up. 

Now is the time for lawmakers to secure funding for nature-based climate solutions, clean air protections, clean energy, and other climate solutions in the state budget. Take a moment now to tell Governor Newsom to eliminate all fossil fuel subsidies and prioritize climate investments!

This blog first appeared in The Climate Center’s bi-weekly newsletter. To keep up with the latest climate news and ways to take action for a climate-safe future, subscribe today!