Building a Healthy & Equitable California

California is home to nearly 40 million residents who need affordable and clean water, air, transportation, housing, and food.

Credit: Cavan Images via Getty

What's at Stake

In order to build a healthy California, we need our policies to work for everyone.

Today, that’s not the case. Black, Latino, Indigenous, and Asian and Pacific Islander communities are disproportionately impacted by dangerous pollution and the effects of the climate crisis. Californians are feeling the impacts of climate change firsthand, including wildfires, extreme weather, and a debilitating and ongoing drought. Our homes, schools, and hospitals are surrounded by nearby oil and gas wells that are exacerbating health problems like preterm birth, asthma, and cancer. Polluting vehicles are driving through low-income neighborhoods. Farming communities are bearing the brunt of toxic pesticides known to cause neurological damage. While the pandemic drags on, Californians increasingly rely on the outdoors for exercise and mental health, but many lack access to nature.

We can do better. That’s why NRDC is working in California with communities, environmental justice partners, labor groups, elected officials, health advocates and businesses to build a healthier and more equitable future for all. That means residents have safe and affordable access to water, their homes are powered by clean energy, and they live, work, and play in pollution-free communities. It also means we protect California’s open spaces and natural resources for future generations.

Phasing Out Oil & Gas with an Equitable and Just Transition

"What we already know is that just transition is a critically important topic for the public as the oil industry continues its slide into eventual oblivion."

Ann Alexander, Senior Attorney, Nature Program, NRDC

LA County Takes Historic Steps to Phase Out Oil Drilling

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to start the process of phasing out oil drilling in unincorporated parts of the County, including within the largest urban oil field in the country.

A rusty pumpjack at an abandoned oil well in the southern San Joaquin Valley, Maricopa County, California

California’s Orphan Well Problem Needs More Than Money

If money were the answer to every problem, then by all accounts solving California’s idle and orphan oil well problem ought to be going swimmingly. 

Drivers pass a gas station in Azusa, California

California Refiners’ Price Gouging: The Worst Whodunit Ever

The strength of California’s economy and climate goals depends on legislators having the courage and wherewithal to end the oil industry’s literal highway robbery.

Six Ways to Help End Neighborhood Oil Drilling in California

Thanks to a new rule under consideration, now is the time for Californians to make themselves heard on this issue.

Decisive Vote to Protect Communities from Oil Drilling in LA

Los Angeles County and the City of Los Angeles are poised to make pivotal decisions to protect the health and safety of Angelenos from dirty fossil fuels. 

Soccer teams compete at Baldwin Hills Park

Gov. Newsom’s Welcome Announcement on Oil Drilling Setbacks

At the close of a legislative session comes a bold and sensible bill establishing a 3,200-foot health and safety setback around both new and reworked existing wells.

Digital artworks created for NRDC by Smug Morenita, an illustrator, visual artist, writer, and organizer.

In English, sized for: Facebook | Instagram | PosterPoster (PDF) 
En español, sized for: FacebookInstagram | PosterPoster (PDF)

In English, sized for: Facebook | Instagram | PosterPoster (PDF) 
En español, sized for: FacebookInstagram | PosterPoster (PDF)

In English, sized for: Facebook | Instagram | PosterPoster (PDF) 
En español, sized for: FacebookInstagram | PosterPoster (PDF)

Electrifying Our Future to Fight the Climate Crisis

“We strive to create safe, healthy, walkable, bikeable, and welcoming urban environments.”

Carter Rubin, Transportation Advocate, NRDC

Making Good on California's Clean Transportation Promises

Environment, health, and justice groups are looking for the Governor and Legislature to ensure California's transportation investments match its lofty climate goals. 

Why Does California Keep Building Freeways in a Climate Crisis?

A new report from the California Strategic Growth Council calls for the urgent need to shift the state’s transportation funding priorities away from highways and towards sustainable mobility.

Strengthen the Advanced Clean Fleets Rule to Protect CA

Replacing dirty trucks with electric versions will enable the state to reach its climate action goals on time.

"Local governments have a key opportunity to support communities most impacted by racial inequities by being intentional about the role they play in planning for new construction and regulating existing buildings."

Maria Stamas, Former Co-Director, Climate Equity, American Cities Climate Challenge

California Makes History with Clean Trucks Rule

In a groundbreaking win, CARB adopted the world’s first zero-emission commercial truck requirement, the Advanced Clean Trucks rule. The rule will cut toxic fossil fuel emissions in polluted communities throughout California.

Building Charging for Electric Vehicles Can Create Good Jobs

Deliberate policies are needed to ensure priority communities have access to these high-paying, upwardly mobile careers.

134 Ventura Freeway in downtown Glendale, California

California Develops Proposal to Achieve Clean Vehicle Future

California, a global leader in electric vehicle deployment and policy innovation, presented plans today for the next round of its Advanced Clean Cars program. It will require all new vehicles to be electric-drive by 2035.

Creating Just and Resilient Food & Farming Systems

“Investing in diverse food and farming systems can increase access to fresh, nutritious food; create jobs in the food and agricultural sector; grow rural wealth; and reduce the use of dangerous inputs and pesticides.”

Arohi Sharma, Deputy Director, Regenerative Agriculture, NRDC

Glut Employee Searching through Coop Inventory

Nature Thrives with Diversity; CA’s Food Systems Can, Too

Our decisionmakers need to think long-term and tie economic recovery with support for our small- and mid-sized farmers, our essential workers, and climate-smart agriculture programs.

A bee collects pollen and nectar from a flower.

Cal. Gov. Shuts One Door on Neonic Cuts, but Opens Another

California Governor Gavin Newsom has vetoed AB 2146, a bill that would have prohibited harmful and unnecessary non-agricultural uses of neonic pesticides. But the Governor has tasked the Department of Pesticide Regulation with a review of these home and garden neonic uses, beginning in 2023.

A man stands below a leafy tree

Fighting Climate Change Through Farming

In Central California, small ranches and farms are growing their connections—to the land, to the past, and to each other.

Protecting Natural Resources & Biodiversity

"Through the 30x30 framework, California has an opportunity to help halt and reverse the alarming rate of biodiversity loss by strategically conserving lands to connect core habitats and movement corridors for wildlife."

Damon Nagami, Senior Attorney, Lands Division, NRDC

Californians Want Water Rights Reform

Even the most casual observer recognizes that a long-delayed reckoning is coming on the Colorado River.

CA Water Rights: An Unfair Foundation Yields Unfair Results

The inequity of this system has not diminished since the time it emerged—but rather, is glaringly apparent in times of drought.

The Next Wave of Ocean Conservation

California has the power to lead, but must raise ambition.

"These fish are being cooked to death because the Bureau of Reclamation chooses to release more water from its reservoirs than it should in order to deliver millions of acre feet of water, primarily to rice and almond growers who are on track to receive nearly the entire flow of the Sacramento River this year."

Kate Poole, Senior Director, Water Division, NRDC

Wildlife Corridors Crucial for California's Biodiversity

The Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing, over the 101 Freeway in western Los Angeles County, is the world’s largest wildlife crossing. But why does habitat connectivity matter?

Fish and Wildlife Service Robs Gray Wolf of Endangered Species Protections

Though isolated populations have rebounded since the 1970s, the once ubiquitous species is far from fully recovered.

You Can Help Restore California’s Natural Environment

We hope you’ll join us in telling the Newsom Administration that you value California’s natural resources and want to see them better protected and restored. 

Protecting Communities from Toxic Pollution

“Out of the 248 active public water systems that were tested, 65% had PFAS detected in the drinking water that serve more than 16 million people in total.”

Anna Reade, Staff Scientist, NRDC

“Chemical Recycling” of Plastic: A Burning Issue

NRDC conducted in-depth research on “chemical recycling” facilities in the United States. What we found led us to conclude that “chemical recycling” is a dangerous false solution to the growing plastic waste crisisand it shouldn’t be considered recycling.

The Scientific Basis for Managing PFAS as a Chemical Class

Managing the risk of these “forever chemicals” has focused primarily on one chemical—out of thousands—at a time. It doesn’t work, so we must change this system to protect public health.

LA Becomes Largest CA City to Electrify New Buildings

Los Angeles passed a policy directing new buildings to be constructed to use all-electric energy, a critical action to achieving LA’s community-driven building decarbonization goals.

“'Chemical recycling' is a dangerous and false solution to the growing plastic waste crisis. What’s worse, these facilities are generating hazardous waste and exacerbating environmental injustices under the false guise of recycling.”

Veena Singla, Senior Scientist, People & Communities Program, NRDC

2022 Sees LA Make Strides on Climate Justice

As 2022 comes to a close, Los Angeles is ending the year with notable progress on energy justice and building decarbonization, with plans for more in 2023.

Latina Farmworkers Speak Out about the Hazards of Life in California’s Fields

From farms to public hearings, the women of Líderes Campesinas are standing up against the pesticide exposure, COVID-19 risk, and other threats disproportionately impacting their community.

Child eating fruit, chlorpyrifos

Landmark Victory: California Ditching Chlorpyrifos in 2020

The bold move will protect children's health in the state and across the country—as well as get the ball rolling for other states to follow suit. 

It’s time to fix California's dysfunctional water system!

Tell lawmakers to reform California’s inequitable water system and stand up to powerful entrenched big agriculture interests.

Tell lawmakers to reform California’s inequitable water system and stand up to big agriculture

Industrial farms with inherited water rights receive six times the amount of water used by the City of Los Angeles—while paying close to nothing. It’s time to fix California's dysfunctional water system.

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