NRDC Golden State Newsletter September 2015, Vol 1, Issue 90
NRDC's Annie Notthoff, Joel Reynolds

The first half of California's two-year legislative session ended with a clear demonstration of the widespread support for clean energy and climate action. Climate advocates took to the State Capitol this month to push for climate legislation locking in California climate leadership -- the biggest of which, SB 350, will require utilities to procure at least 50 percent of their electricity from renewable energy and double energy efficiency statewide by 2030. And in more good news, California air pollution officials voted unanimously to approve and re-adopt the state's Low Carbon Fuel Standard that requires the oil industry to cut the carbon-intensity of transportation fuels by 10% by 2020. The Governor is more determined than ever to cut California's dependence on oil. Governor Brown, along with climate champions Senator Kevin de León and incoming Speaker Anthony Rendón will be a formidable force for transformative climate action in California.

Meanwhile, the Public Policy Institute of California released its annual environmental survey, revealing Californians see global warming as a serious threat. Also important, residents do not think climate action will lead to fewer jobs. A growing body of scientific evidence is linking a warming planet to more intense weather, and Californians are definitely bearing the brunt, as we face our fourth year of intense drought and increased wildfires throughout the state. Our hearts go out to all those struggling to rebuild.

Here's to a wet fall.


Annie Notthoff, California Advocacy Director
Joel Reynolds, Western Director

Big Win Protects Heart of Largest Intact Temperate Rainforest


With 95-percent of old-growth forests logged in the lower 48 states, Tongass National Forest in Alaska is America's last primeval forest. NRDC has been its champion for over 35 years. This summer, the full U.S. Court of Appeals invalidated a Bush administration exemption of the Tongass from the "Roadless Rule." That landmark conservation rule was adopted in 2001 to protect nearly 60 million acres of wild national forests and grasslands from new road building and logging. "The Tongass is America's Rainforest -- a vast, heart stoppingly beautiful, wildlife-rich wonderland," said NRDC senior attorney and Alaska director Niel Lawrence who co-litigated the case. "This decision returns its pristine splendor to all Americans to enjoy for all time."

Wild California


For decades, NRDC has fought to protect wild predators. Recently, we advocated on behalf of the gray wolf to have it relisted as "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act. Now, there is evidence of more gray wolves in California for the first time in almost a century.

And in another win for California wildlife, the state's Fish and Game Commission recently voted to protect native bobcat populations by banning the commercial trapping of them. Both victories are proof of the power of advocacy and persistence over time.

California Doubles Down on Energy Efficiency


California's commitment to energy efficiency is paying off, according to a new report published by NRDC and national nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). But significant work remains in order to achieve California's 2030 climate and energy goals, and save residential, business, industrial, and agricultural consumers even more money while continuing to stimulate the economy. The report, "California's Golden Energy Efficiency Opportunity: Ramping Up Success to Save Billions and Meet Climate Goals," details how energy efficiency has already benefitted Californians -- saving us $90 billion in utility bills and creating thousands of new efficiency jobs -- and shows we will have avoided the pollution from 41 power plants by the end of the next decade. However, California will need a major efficiency ramp-up to meet the state's long-term climate and energy goals.

NRDC's Clean Energy Quarterback

Ben Chou

Senior Energy Communications Strategist Pat Remick is the best at what she does. Having spent decades as a journalist, the environment was always one of her interests so joining NRDC's Communications team was a natural fit. Based in D.C., Pat works closely with NRDC staff in California and nationwide to advance energy efficiency, which is the easiest, cheapest, and fastest way to cut dangerous pollution from electricity generation and to reach our climate goals. Most recently, Pat worked to develop and promote the above-mentioned report detailing California's energy efficiency success, and another showing the average electricity consumption of California households going toward powering always-on appliances like cable boxes, computers, and modems that aren't being actively used. When not evangelizing about the needless energy waste in everything from our gaming systems and dryers to the data centers delivering all that we do on the Internet, the award-winning mystery writer, loves to cook, travel, and visit with her two sons.

© 2015 Natural Resources Defense Council

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