CA Gets a “D” on the 2022 Environmental Scorecard
Thursday, March 17, 2022
California only got a "D" grade on this year's Environmental Scorecard, a report card put out each year since 1973 by the nonprofit California Environmental Voters.
The low score mostly comes from inaction on the many climate bills that stalled in the state Senate, even though Democrats have a supermajority. Mary Creasman, CEO of California Environmental Voters, said many Democratic lawmakers talk a good game but then vote to delay climate action.
"We actually have the solution and the technology," said Creasman, "and all of those things are actually job creators too, and will advance our economy. What we don't have is the political will to do it at the rate and scale that science tells us we have to."
Opponents of climate-action bills often cite the costs to business. But the report blames inaction on the influence of fossil-fuel companies - finding that 52% of Democrats and 96% of Republicans accepted campaign cash from oil interests.
The scorecard says Gov. Gavin Newsom made pro-climate decisions 82% of the time. Overall, state Democrats earned a score of 80%, while Republicans got a score of 15%.
Assemblyman Steve Bennett - D-Ventura - said it's been tough to get colleagues to devote sufficient resources to decarbonize buildings and transportation, switch to renewables or modernize our grid and energy storage.
"Politicians don't get popular by asking people to make sacrifices today to solve a problem that's going to come in 15 or 20 years down the road," said Bennett. "And that's why we've been so slow in taking action on climate change."
Former Assemblyman David Chiu, now City Attorney for San Francisco, said there is hope - if Californians work together.
"There is enough wind off the coast of California to power the entire grid with clean power while creating great jobs for tens of thousands of workers," said Chiu. "But there is so much work we need to continue to do to advance clean-energy solutions."
You can look up your representative's score and read the entire report at envirovoters.org/scorecard.
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