Assembly Introduces AB 378, Advances Climate Change Guidelines Beyond SB 32

Thursday, February 9, 2017

(Sacramento) – Assemblymembers Cristina Garcia (D- Bell Gardens), Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) and Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) today introduced legislation to confirm and enhance California's authority to meet the 2030 climate change target established last year by SB 32 and AB 197.

“California has made tremendous progress in the last ten years reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to a clean energy economy. However, as we look toward the deeper emission reductions and investments needed to meet our 2030 targets; we need to assure that our success is shared equitably with all Californians."  Stated Cristina Garcia, Chair of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee.

AB 378 requires the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to consider and account for the social costs of greenhouse gas emissions particularly in the states most disadvantaged communities who are disproportionately impacted. The bill also would authorize the ARB to continue using a carbon-pricing market mechanism to the meet the statewide greenhouse gas reduction target of 40% by 2030 established by SB 32  (Pavely, 2016) .  The ARB, in meeting the SB 32 target, would also be required to adopt an effective and equitable mix of measures that would support achieving air quality and other public health goals.  No specific mechanism for reduction is detailed in the legislation.

Added Eduardo Garcia, Chair of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, “In order for California to remain an economic and environmental leader we must also lead on issues related to equity. Transparent investments among socioeconomically, and environmentally distressed populations are needed to increase economic opportunities, public health and quality of life. I plan to work with my colleagues and build upon our work from last year, ensuring climate equity and knocking down barriers to opportunities so those most affected by pollution are provided parity."

“As we move forward with combating climate change, we must think of the most disadvantaged communities who are most impacted by the health and economic realities of climate change.” Commented Chris Holden, Chair of the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee.

AB 32, The California Global Solutions Act, required the ARB develop regulations and market mechanisms to reduce California's greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year of 2020.  As the deadline approaches in just three years, stakeholders see an opportunity to address areas where current policy has fallen short.

"Low-income communities and communities of color across California are struggling with poor air quality, asthma and the increasing impacts of climate change on a daily basis. We need win-win climate policies that improve health and quality of life in our most vulnerable communities, while rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. At a time when both equity and the climate are under attack nationally, we look forward to working with Assembly Members C. Garcia, E. Garcia and Holden to advance equitable climate policy here in California." Said Amy Vanderwarker, Co-Director, California Environmental Justice Alliance.

“The past decade is solid proof that what’s good for the climate is good for California,” said Alex Jackson, Legal Director of the California Climate Project at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The state’s climate policies have ignited a clean energy boom that’s adding jobs while slashing global warming emissions. As the world looks to California for continued climate leadership, this bill affirms the state’s resolve to take aim at its 2030 reduction target using its full quiver of pollution-reduction policies and guided by a commitment to protect those most vulnerable.”

AB 378 is currently co-authored by Assemblymembers Bloom (D-Santa Monica), Bonta (D- Oakland), Friedman (D-Burbank), Gomez (D-Los Angeles), Jones-Sawyer Sr.(D-Los Angeles), Kalra (D-San Jose), McCarty (D-Sacramento), Reyes (D-San Bernardino),  Stone (D-Santa Cruz), Talamantes-Eggman (D- Stockton),  Ting (D- San Francisco ) and Thurmond (D-Richmond) . It is supported by the California Environmental Justice Alliance, National Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund, California League of Conservation Voters, Union of Concerned Scientists, Coalition for Clean Air, NextGen, Environment California, American Lung Association, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Greenlining, State Building Trades Council, E2, Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, California Natural Gas Vehicles Coalition, Coalition for Clean Air and the Clean Energy Fund, among others.

AB 378 will next be heard in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee.

 The 58th Assembly District includes the cities of Montebello, Pico Rivera, Commerce, Bell Gardens, Downey, Norwalk, Bellflower, Cerritos and Artesia.

What others are saying:

"Last year’s passage of SB 32 and AB 197 demonstrated California's continued leadership centering environmental and economic justice in our climate laws. We applaud the work of Assemblymembers Cristina Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, and Chris Holden in advancing the state's commitment to reducing climate pollution at the source where working families live and breathe. As we move forward on future climate policy, we must ensure that principles of equity and justice remain at the forefront." Miya Yoshitani, Executive Director, Asian Pacific Environmental Network

“We have passed the 11th hour when it comes to action on climate change. Once again California will lead the nation and the world on stepping up and tackling this problem. Our elected officials, like the ones here today are taking the smart and inclusive action needed to show real leadership."Dan Jacobson, State Director, Environment California

“This bill is an important contribution to the discussion of how California can continue as a strong global climate leader while also keeping a firm focus on how to improve poor air quality that primarily burdens local communities. More than a decade into California’s robust climate program, carbon pollution is going down and the economy is thriving. Similarly, the state has seen air quality improvements but there is much more work to do.  A large majority of Californians support strong action on climate and steps to create a healthier environment where people and nature can thrive. We hope California’s elected representatives weigh in this year to help California cement its legacy of climate leadership and environmental stewardship.” Erica Morehouse, Senior Attorney, Global Climate/ EDF Action