Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Sierra Club California today published its 2009 Legislative Report Card, exposing a significant deterioration in the performance of Governor Schwarzenegger and the Legislature. "Billionaire developers and fossil-fuel polluters cynically manipulated California’s economic distress to weaken protections for our air, water, and wild places, and our elected officials too often went along," commented Bill Magavern, Director of Sierra Club California.

The report card grades legislators on their votes on 15 bills, chosen for their importance to Sierra Club California. Only five legislators – Senators Corbett, Hancock and Wiggins and Assemblymembers Monning and Skinner -- voted the pro-environment position on all 15, way down from the 42 legislators who scored perfect records last year. 13 of those 15 bills reached Schwarzenegger’s desk, and he sided with the pro-environment position on only two of those.

"Most Californians know that greening our economy with clean energy, safe products and resource preservation will bring us sustainable jobs," Magavern said. "Unfortunately, too many of our politicians are listening more to the money that talks in the Capitol. Weakening environmental safeguards promotes short term profits without stimulating real economic recovery. These rollbacks threaten the health of our children and grandchildren as well as the natural legacy our predecessors handed to us in trust for future generations."

Legislation that would have greened our energy system, preserved our parks and coast, cleaned the air and water, and removed toxins from products either fell short of the needed votes in the legislature or suffered vetoes from Governor Schwarzenegger. Utilities, oil, logging and chemical companies, and big developers poured millions of dollars into lobbying, advertising and campaign contributions in their efforts to thwart Californians’ desire for stronger safeguards for our wildlands, atmosphere and watersheds.

Environmental groups were forced into a defensive posture several times, as these same special interests exploited their inside influence to bypass the normal, public legislative process and jam through measures to carve loopholes in key laws like the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). In addition, the water "reform" package passed in the middle of the night included a mix of half measures and a bloated $11.1 billion water bond for the November 2010 ballot that will do little to solve the problems of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

The entire report card and Sierra Club California’s latest CAPITOL VOICE newsletter can be found at

Monday, December 14, 2009


Sacramento — Sierra Club California today endorsed the State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Act of 2010, a proposed statewide initiative slated for the November 2010 ballot, that would provide a stable, reliable and adequate source of funding to protect state parks and conserve wildlife.

“With our state parks facing an insurmountable funding crisis and irreparable damage, it is essential we provide our parks with a sustainable and reliable funding stream,” said Jim Metropulos, Senior Advocate of Sierra Club California. “For years California’s 278 state parks have been an integral public asset that residents and visitors alike enjoyed, and it is imperative we maintain these priceless assets for our children and future generations.”

The State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Act of 2010 would ensure a dedicated and reliable funding stream for state parks through an $18 annual State Park Access Pass surcharge and, in return, would provide vehicles subject to the surcharge free, year-round admission to state parks.

“We encourage our members to join us in this effort to keep our parks open by helping to gather signatures and ensure that this initiative ultimately succeeds,” said Alan Carlton, Northern California Vice Chair of the Sierra Club California Nevada Regional Conservation Committee.
Sierra Club California now joins a strong coalition including –California State Parks Foundation, The Trust for Public Land, Save the Redwoods League, Defenders of Wildlife, Surfrider Foundation, California State Park Rangers Association, Audubon California, California State Lifeguard Association and Ocean Conservancy.

To find out more information on how to help volunteer and gather signatures, please visit

For more information on the State Parks & Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Act of 2010 please visit

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sierra Club Calfiornia Speaks Up for Greener Vehicles at CARB Meeting Thursday

On Thursday Sierra Club California will give public testimony at the California Air Resources Board (CARB) meeting and urge the Board to foster the growth of new technology that will provide Californians the opportunity to purchase and drive greener vehicles like battery electric cars.

CARB is now working on proposing changes to the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program, to implement the state’s global warming law, AB 32. Sierra Club California and our allies are working hard to ensure that these standards are as strong as possible. That’s what we need to significantly clean up California’s air and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While CARB staff have been working hard to strengthen the regulations, we have strong concerns with a policy option just released in the ZEV White Paper that would let the auto industry off the hook by giving them even more time to delay technology advancements and commercialization of zero emission vehicles.

Click here for the ZEV White Paper.

Click here for Sierra Club California’s and the Clean Car Coalition’s response to the policy option we take issue with.

Sierra Club California believes the auto industry has had plenty of time to conform with ZEV regulations. Now is not the time to let up—too much is at stake! NOW is the time to drive innovation and ramp up commercialization of green vehicles to ensure our kids breathe cleaner air, and to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. A strong ZEV program will also save us money at the gas pump and create green jobs. And strengthening the ZEV regulations will help California reach our goals of being a national leader in setting rigorous greenhouse gas emission standards, while promoting the advancement of new, cleaner technology.

Let us know what you think about cleaning our air and reducing greenhouse gas emissions coming from our vehicles…