Defeat Dirty Energy and Protect California's Parks on November 2

I’m counting down the days to the November 2 election and reminding my friends and family of what is at stake regarding what’s on the ballot this year. There are several propositions on California’s ballot NRDC has taken positions on and I’ll recap two of them for you here. Here is the full list of NRDC’s positions on California’s ballot.


Prop 23 – The Dirty Energy Proposition: This measure would stop the implementation of California’s landmark clean energy law, or AB 32. For full description see my earlier blog. We believe that this measure would repeal the law putting California at a disadvantage in spearheading the burgeoning clean energy economy.  At least 45 of California’s newspapers and the New York Times have endorsed No on 23.


Prop 21 – Save State Parks: This ballot measure establishes an $18 charge on annual vehicle registrations to fund maintenance and operation of California’s 278 state parks. Some funds would also go toward wildlife conservation and other natural resource protections. In exchange for the fee, the vehicle and everyone inside it gets free day use at California state parks all year long.  This is a great deal for anyone who loves and uses our parks.

This measure is particularly important as parks are chronically underfunded and in danger of being closed because of the State’s budget crisis. Prop 21 would provide a stable and ongoing source of funding for the parks, while ensuring access and a major discount to anyone who visits a state park more than once a year:

Many of California’s parks are threatened by human-caused alteration of the climate, which is why we need to enforce our global warming laws and also protect the health of our national and state parks. NRDC just co-authored a report from the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization entitled California’s National Parks in Peril: The Threats of Climate Disruption.

As scientists continue to study the effects unchecked climate change is already having on our climate, they are finding that many of the most immediate threats are happening in some of our most beautiful and treasured areas, California’s parks, areas where more than 34 million people flock to each year and attract people to our state from around the globe.

At stake are not just the spectacular resources and values of these national parks, but an important foundation of California’s economy. The national parks in California add $1.24 billion a year to the state’s economy and support many thousand jobs in the state. These economic benefits, though, depend on the continued attractiveness to visitors of the natural and cultural resources of the parks, including those threatened by climate change. Risks to those resources are also risks to the state’s economy. 

The report finds that giant sequoias are in trouble in Sequoia National Park, coastal redwoods apparently are in Redwood National Park, and Joshua trees definitely are in Joshua Tree National Park. Pine and fir trees already are dying sooner in Yosemite and Sequoia. Yosemite Falls may dry to a relative trickle more often and sooner in the year. The natural abundance and diversity of wildlife in the parks will be diminished. Beaches and wetlands at Golden Gate and Point Reyes likely will be inundated by a higher Pacific Ocean.  

What the report finds is that it is possible to head off the worst of the possible effects on California's national parks by taking decisive action to reduce pollution that is changing the climate. California is also beginning to take those actions through its AB 32 – actions that will not only reduce climate change but actually strengthen the state’s clean energy economy.

We must take steps to reduce our global warming pollution and reinforce our commitment to preserving our wild and beautiful spaces, for our children and generations to come. Vote No on Prop 23 and Yes on Prop 21 to make this happen.