Environmental Safeguards: Protecting California's Environmental Protections
Californians consistently support action to reduce pollution and protect the environment.
They have shown this over the years by electing legislators and statewide leaders who support environmental policies that will clean the air, protect the water, keep forests healthy and let wildlife thrive. They have called for and supported regulations and rules that hold polluters accountable and force developers and others to disclose the environmental impacts of their projects--and then eliminate or mitigate those impacts.
In contrast to most Californians, a vocal minority of people who represent polluting industries have consistently attacked any rules governing environmental impacts. When the economy gets tough--as it has since 2008--this vocal minority becomes louder and more persistent. They express their attacks on the environment through destructive legislation, regulatory challenges, lawsuits, ballot initiatives and media campaigns.
Sierra Club California has prepared a fact sheet with an overview on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
The Front Lines
Sierra Club California staff and volunteers serve on the front lines, battling with lobbying, letters, and media the barrage of attacks on environmental protections. These efforts have included:
• Helping defeat a 2010 ballot initiative, backed by Big Oil and out-of-state interests, that would have overturned California's landmark law to reduce the state's climate disrupting greenhouse gas pollution.
• Holding firm against volumes of legislation in 2011 and 2012 designed to weaken the California Environmental Quality Act, an environmental safeguard that requires big construction projects to reveal to the public what that project's environmental impacts would be.
• Defeating misguided legislative efforts to undercut the authority of local air districts to require polluters to, well, stop polluting.
Among environmental groups working in Sacramento, none is more consistently present to be the voice of the environment and defend against efforts to roll back hard won environmental protections as Sierra Club California.
Click here to view the PPIC statewide survey.