NRDC Golden State Newsletter February 2015, Vol 1, Issue 83
NRDC's Annie Notthoff, Joel Reynolds

Late breaking news - President Obama vetoed the bill that would have forced approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. But the fight is far from over. NRDC thanks President Obama—and urges him to take the next step and reject the pipeline for good.

Last month was the driest January on record here in California. Climate action picked up in Sacramento and in Washington, D.C. This month State Senate pro Tem Kevin de León, kicked off the year with the introduction of a package of bills to carry out the ambitious set of climate goals that Governor Brown laid out in his Inaugural Address. President Obama announced more than $10 billion for programs to mitigate and adapt to the effects of global climate change including $50 million in much-needed California drought funding for conservation, restoration, and monitoring for California's imperiled fish.

During this Black History Month NRDC participated in a day-long examination of the environmental threats faced by people of color, organized by the South Coast Air Quality Management District. "Environmental Justice For All: A Conversation With the Community," featured "the father of environmental justice," Dr. Robert D. Bullard.

And you may have noticed NRDC's newly re-designed logo! Read more about the NRDC staff person responsible below.


Annie Notthoff, California Advocacy Director
Joel Reynolds, Western Director

NRDC Successfully Defends BPA Toxicity Ruling

plastic bottle

In a victory for public health, the California Superior Court rejected a chemical industry challenge and ruled that the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) could go forward with listing bisphenol A—or BPA—as a chemical known to cause reproductive harm under California's Proposition 65. BPA was originally listed in 2013 in response to an NRDC petition. OEHHA based the listing decision on a 2008 National Toxicology Program report, which concluded that there is clear evidence that BPA causes reproductive harm. But the American Chemistry Council sued the state to prevent the listing. NRDC intervened in the lawsuit on behalf of the state, and, after a long and contentious legal battle, the Superior Court ruled in the state's and NRDC's favor in late December.

The American Chemistry Council is asking the Superior Court to retry the case, and a hearing on the motion for a new trial is scheduled for April.

New NRDC Study Finds that California is a Major Market for Illegal Ivory

elephant tusks

Up to 90 percent of the ivory for sale in Los Angeles and approximately 80 percent in San Francisco is likely illegal under California law, according to an undercover investigation commissioned by NRDC. A loophole in the law allows the sale of "antique" ivory, so many pieces currently for sale are actually from recently killed elephants and then crafted to look older so they appear legal under California law. However, California Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and Senator Ricardo Lara recently introduced a bill in the California State Assembly (AB 96—so numbered to remind people that 96 elephants die each day from poaching) to close the loophole and eliminate the state's illegal ivory trade.

California Leaders Chart Clean Energy Future by 2030


Backed by a broad coalition of business, labor, environmental justice and conservation advocates, State Senate leaders launched a bold California Climate Leadership agenda to move forward California's efforts to combat climate change. Last month, Governor Jerry Brown proposed the ambitious goal of procuring half of the state's electricity from clean, renewable sources by 2030 to fuel California's transition to a low-carbon economy. We're building upon a strong clean energy foundation that includes our successful renewable portfolio standard, a robust energy efficiency program, and ongoing leadership on fuel efficient and low-carbon transportation. This is the next logical leap forward, and no one's better positioned to make it than California.

Behind the New NRDC Look

Michelle Egan

Michelle Egan, NRDC's director of Print and Digital Media, is our behind-the-scenes visionary—and driver of NRDC's editorial, multimedia, marketing, visual and creative assets designed to educate and inspire audiences into action. Since arriving at NRDC in February 2014, Michelle has spurred our communications team, as well as the entire organization, into a new era as manifest by the modern transformation of NRDC's logo and website design, which were both unveiled last month to terrific reviews—an accomplishment that Michelle should be very proud of. Prior to NRDC, Michelle was the creative director for Hallmark Digital, when she made the not-so difficult decision to move away from a big corporation to work for an inspired, mission-driven organization instead. Originally hailing from Kansas City, Missouri, Michelle enjoys traveling with her husband to far-off and exciting places (such as New Zealand pictured above left) when she's not busy making our world more visually cohesive.

© 2015 Natural Resources Defense Council

Photo Credits: n/a.

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