Supported by The Climate Center

SB 1497 (Menjivar) Polluters Pay Climate Cost Recovery Act

Fire at the site of an oil well. Photo via Canva.

SB 1497 establishes a program in California’s Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) that will assess fees on the state’s largest fossil fuel polluters to ensure that they pay their fair share of the damage they have caused California and its climate.

Fossil fuel corporations rake in record profits year after year while communities of concern across California face the public health and environmental consequences of their pollution. Taxpayers are currently burdened with the rising cost of climate disasters, while the corporations responsible for the climate crisis continue to benefit from selling polluting oil and gas, using their billions in profits to undermine clean alternatives and fight climate legislation. Corporate polluters must pay for the damages they have caused, and SB 1497 will hold them accountable to start paying their fair share.

CalEPA will identify fossil fuel polluters, quantify the costs of climate damages, and establish the Polluters Pay Climate Fund. This fund will pay for climate programs across the state, prioritizing low-income and communities of color who are disproportionately harmed by the climate emergency.

Committee Location: (Updated 5/28/24) SB 1497 is an urgency bill and requires a two-thirds majority vote. It has been approved in all committees, but is still in the Senate awaiting a floor vote, and has been placed in the inactive file while the author secures the votes needed for passage.

Bill author