Earth Day: Important Then and Now
A devastating oil spill off our coast gave rise to the first Earth Day nearly half a century ago. Today, we work to tackle climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and wean ourselves off fossil fuels, but our commitment to a greener California remains. As we begin our Earth Day celebrations, I wanted to share the work I'm doing to move us toward a greener future:
Rush-Hour Train for South Coast Commuters: As chair of the Select Committee on Passenger Rail, I have made improving passenger rail in the state a priority, and have been working hard to get a train during commute hours operating along the Highway 101 corridor between Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, so that we can reduce freeway gridlock and greenhouse gas emissions and build a more vibrant, regional economy. Although there is work still to be done, progress is being made toward a commute-hour train beginning in the Spring of 2016. I will keep you posted as these efforts move forward.
Reforming California's top oil regulatory agency: As concerns have mounted about the failure of state regulators to protect drinking water from potential contamination from oil and gas production wastewater, I am authoring a bill to reform the state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, so that informing the public, the safety of our water, and preventing unchecked oil development become priorities. This is particularly important during this devastating drought when our groundwater supplies are so limited.
Adapting to climate change: My bill, Senate Bill 379, would require cities and counties to plan for the impacts of climate change – such as sea-level rise, fires, flood and drought – in their general plans beginning in 2017.
Cleaner power plants: My Senate Bill 180 would limit the amount of carbon dioxide power plants can emit, encouraging California to phase-out its dirtier plants.
Increasing transparency in the environmental review process: My Senate Bill 122 would encourage greater public participation by providing more access to information about land use projects being evaluated through the CEQA environmental review process.
What do you think our priorities should be for ensuring a greener California? I'd love to hear from you. I hope you will also stay in touch by Facebook and Twitter.
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson
State Senator, 19th Senate District