Friday, September 21, 2007

Sierra Club California Letter to Governor Schwarzenegger on Highest Priority Legislation

September 21, 2007

The Honorable Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor, State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Highest Priority Legislation for Sierra Club California

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger:

First, Sierra Club California would like to thank you for your continued leadership on the fight to slow global warming, the issue that in most respects, trumps all other environmental issues. Meanwhile, we respectfully request your signature on the following highest priority pieces of legislation.

AB 5 (Wolk)/SB 17(Florez) reforms and restructures the Reclamation Board.

AB 35 (Ruskin) requires the California Environmental Protection Agency to adopt regulations establishing sustainable building standards for the construction and renovation of state buildings.

AB 48 (Saldana) – Prohibits the sale of electronic devices if they contain toxic heavy metals.

AB 70 (Jones) – requires local governments to share liability for flood damages with the state if local land-use decisions lead to damages.

AB 118 (Nunez) – establishes new state programs to invest in projects that improve air quality and support development and deployment of clean alternative fuels and technologies.

AB 162 (Wolk) – requires flood-risk identification in local general plans.

AB 188 (Aghazarian) expands information required to be included in the state’s central public registry of conservation easements.

AB 233 (Jones) – Strengthens enforcement of diesel emission control rules for heavy-duty on-road and off-road vehicles and engines.

AB 548 (Levine) – Requires the owner of a multifamily dwelling (5 units or more) to provide recycling services consistent with any local or state requirements or agreements.

AB 609 (Eng) would allow energy conservation measures and energy service contracts for existing state buildings to be approved if cost savings will be realized through a life-cycle cost.

AB 821 (Nava) – bans lead ammunition when hunting big game within the range of the condor.

AB 833 (Ruskin) – Requires California to maintain toxics release inventory requirements as they existed prior to the federal weakening of reporting requirements by US EPA.

AB 888 (Lieu) requires the adoption of green building standards for new commercial buildings.

AB 1058 (Laird) Requires HCD and ultimately the Building Standards Commission to adopt best practices and building standards for green building in new residential construction.

AB 1108 (Ma) – Prohibits the use of specified phthalate chemicals in toys and childcare products designed for children up to 3 years old.

AB 1109 (Huffman) would require the state to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to increase the energy efficiency and reduce the pollution associated with current lighting technology.

AB 1420 (Laird) would condition state funding for water management grants and loans to the implementation of water conservation measures by urban water suppliers.

AB 1470 (Huffman) creates a $250 million incentive program to encourage the installation of solar water hearing systems that offset natural gas use in homes and businesses throughout the state.

AB 1613 (Blakeslee) requires the PUC to establish pay-as-you-save pilot programs to finance all the upfront costs for the purchase and installation of combined heat and power systems.

SB 5 (Machado) requires the state to prepare a Central Valley Flood Protection Plan by 2012, and establishes flood protection requirements for local land-use decisions consistent with the plan.

SB 210 (Kehoe) -- Codifies & strengthens the Governor's Low-Carbon Fuel Standard by requiring ARB to adopt that standard to achieve at least a 10% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

SB 220 (Corbett) Enhances the Department of Public Health's regulatory process governing water dispensed from water-vending machines and the labeling requirements for bottled water.

SB 719 (Machado) – Reforms the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District board by increasing the number of city members and adding two public members.

SB 990 (Kuehl) – Requires the Santa Susana Field Lab site to be thoroughly remediated for both chemical and radioactive contamination.

We also ask that you veto the following bill:

AB 809 (Blakeslee) would weaken California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard for energy and discourage investments in new truly renewable energy.

While these 25 bills are our highest priorities, there is additional significant legislation we urge you to sign and have submitted separate letters for each of these bills. We appreciate your consideration of this request and your commitment to restoring and protecting California’s environment.


Bill Allayaud, State Legislative Director

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hope that you will take a moment to examine AB 118 as passed by the legislature and that you will advocate for its VETO.

According to the Times, this bill, now on the governor's desk, would charge a $3.00 fee on every auto, trailer, and watercraft DMV registration ostensibly for the study of clean fuels.

Why every sail boat in California should pay a fee to study clean fuel is a puzzle.

For the majority of Californians who do not buy coffee at Starbucks (See Calif. Progressive advocacy column)and may not be of a mind to subsidize for-profit energy companies, this fee is an unwelcome 7.3% increase in the typical auto registration fee. At least a license fee is tied to value. AB 118 is a regressive tax which may seem to be for a good purpose but is unfocused in impact on those who will pay and unfair as to who then will most likely benefit, the new car buyer.

The sponsors estimate $200 million will be taxed annually by this so called fee.

There are clearly better ways to encourage clean fuels. Witness Toyota's Hybrid and the efforts of European automakers to bring clean diesels to market.

I hope you agree this measure deserves your organzation's opposition and that you will advocate for a veto of this compromised, costly and ineffective legislation.