NRDC Golden State Newsletter November 2015, Vol 1, Issue 92
NRDC's Annie Notthoff, Joel Reynolds

As California awaits rain and snow, we can't expect an end to the drought. And don't expect the mandatory water restrictions to go anywhere any time soon either. The State Water Resources Control Board is working on new regulations, and Gov. Brown has extended drought restrictions through October 2016. With few new initiatives to implement 21st century solutions to create more water for California, we have a long way to go to prepare better for drought. We've seen missed opportunities to make limited water resources go further, especially given the push for taking more water from our rivers and estuaries, like the Bay Delta — a project scientists conclude will harm ecosystems, fish, wildlife, and jobs that depend on them. NRDC is currently working on a drought report assessing the areas where California needs to do better ... as well as highlighting progress.

In crabbier news, the California Fish and Game Commission has voted to cancel this year's Dungeness crab season opener due to high levels of domoic acid — a result of the increasingly warming waters off the Pacific shoreline. Meanwhile, as California pushes forward with some of the most aggressive combined clean energy targets in the world, it's also joined 18 other states in defending the EPA's Clean Power Plan.


Annie Notthoff, California Advocacy Director
Joel Reynolds, Western Director

Trucking Industry Challenge to California's Dirty Diesel Rule Denied

diesel truck

For decades, NRDC has led the effort to protect the health of Californians from dirty diesel exhaust, so we were very pleased when the U.S. Supreme Court recently refused to hear the construction trucking industry's challenge to California's authority to clean up 1 million aging diesel trucks and buses. NRDC supported the development of California's "Truck and Bus Rule" and intervened to defend the rule in court. The Supreme Court's decision ends the trucking industry's nearly five-year challenge to the state regulation, which will clean up the largest mobile source of particulate matter and smog-forming oxides of nitrogen in the state, preventing approximately 3,500 premature deaths along the way. Unfortunately, there are a number of additional state and federal challenges to the Truck and Bus Rule. The Supreme Court's decision may result in the dismissal of some of these cases but not all of them. While NRDC is not an intervenor in these companion cases, we are in close contact with state officials and may re-evaluate NRDC intervention in these cases if it is needed.

NRDC Participates in Equity Summit 2015 - Inclusion, Justice, and Prosperity

Climate Summit

In late October, NRDC staff joined thousands of advocates, grassroots organizers, policy makers, elected officials, and equity leaders in Los Angeles for the PolicyLink Equity Summit. The summit, held every four years, is dedicated to driving equity (just and fair inclusion for all) into the conversation and outcomes on education, the environment, transportation, housing, jobs, health, and other important issues in our communities. NRDC's Urban Solutions team hosted our first ever reception and informal conversation on Growing a Unifying Agenda for the Environmental Movement in the 21st Century, in partnership with the Kresge Foundation, the Partnership for Southern Equity, and the Center for Social Inclusion — reaffirming our existing partnerships, providing the opportunity for new connections, and creating a space to openly discuss opportunities to elevate climate justice and equity into the environmental agenda of green organizations. We are working with a growing network and learning how to develop a platform to drive equity, equality, and inclusion as true values of our work.

New Poll Shows 83% of African-Americans Support Climate Action

Climate Poll

African-American communities are often faced with injustice. In fact, they disproportionately bear the brunt of environmental harm, resulting in debilitating public health impacts and destabilized local economies. Given this environmental burden, it is not surprising that today 83 percent of African Americans back setting the first-ever limits on carbon pollution from coal- and gas-fired power plants under President Obama's Clean Power Plan — according to a new national poll, commissioned by Green for All and NRDC's Voices for Climate Initiative. Further, key poll findings reveal a strong majority of African-Americans believe that as the nation drives down dangerous carbon pollution, it can drive up the use of clean, renewable wind and solar energy, resulting in increased jobs and a reduction of their energy costs — a stark contrast to the misinformation and messaging targeting this community, and a testament to community leaders' commitment to lessen the impacts of climate change on our children and future generations.

Attorney + Advocate's Fearless Fight to Reduce LA's Air Pollution

Morgan Wyenn

Morgan Wyenn, staff attorney with NRDC's air program in the Santa Monica office, has always wanted to be a professional activist. At work — and in her video game venture — the San Fernando Valley native tackles some of the overwhelming problems facing our planet. "In my work in environmental law, I fight really hard on behalf of communities facing real injustice, in the form of pollution that hurts their health and the health of their families," Morgan has said. In her work, she uses litigation and policy advocacy — and partners with a coalition of community organizations, residents, and our team of brilliant NRDC attorneys — to fight to clean up L.A.'s air pollution. Most recently, the Port of LA approved $10 million in mitigation funds that Morgan helped negotiate, which will go to combat port-related air pollution impacting air quality in local communities ... many of which are communities of color.

© 2015 Natural Resources Defense Council

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