California's Environmental Leadership - Progress with Economic Prosperity

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What California does makes a difference. When President Obama increased national mileage standards last year, he built on the pioneering work that Senator Fran Pavley started here in 2002. We dream big, we take big steps and when it comes to environmental and public health protection, nobody does it better.  ith his new budget proposal today, Governor Brown has a chance to build on our state’s strong record of environmental and public health protection.

Thanks to the voters, our environmental management infrastructure is on safer ground now that Governor Brown’s Prop 30 passed in November. Proposition 39 is also good news for clean energy and the good jobs it produces. Yet in 2013, significant challenges lay ahead for Governor Brown and those who share his vision of a clean energy and environmentally progressive future.

Governor Brown’s continued bold leadership is essential to advance California’s groundbreaking climate, land and water policies.  We don’t have time for hand wringing or delay. California is on the right path and we have internationally acclaimed environmental and public health policies on the books.  What we need is a steady hand on the tiller, a clear vision to keep the progress we’ve made moving. A quick look at what California accomplished in 2012 is inspirational. 

These environmental success stories happened while California added jobs at a faster rate than the rest of the nation.  Californians know that a healthy environment and a healthy economy go hand in hand. And we expect our elected leaders to keep fighting for both. 

Governor Brown and his environmental team have critical decisions in front of them in 2013. We call on them to defend our clean energy laws, craft innovative water solutions and champion ocean protection. But we will fight those who would turn back the clock, who would curb citizen rights to participate in their neighborhoods’ future, who would silence communities from standing up for the right to breathe clean air and who would continue mistakes of the past, such as over-reliance on imported water without developing reliable local sources. 

We will fight to uphold the core protections of the California Environmental Quality Act. Science also tells us that Delta fish and farms need water to thrive and we will be looking to with a critical eye at proposals to build a new tunnel for water exports to southern California. Fracking has also come to California and we will be ready to discuss necessary, common-sense public health safeguards.  The importance of making these programs work right is only multiplied by the constant imperative of fighting climate change. 

To build on the great environmental progress California is making, we must all work together for a sustainable and profitable California. At the same time, we will be watching closely to guard against attempts to derail these current initiatives to improve the health and wallets of Californians. 2013 holds great promise. Let’s get it right. 


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