Venise Curry & Ellie Cohen, CAL MATTERS
Make no mistake about it. Climate change is powering California’s perfect storm of record heat, lightning, drought, wildfire and smoke amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and electricity blackouts.
In his video message to the Democratic National Convention in August, Gov. Gavin Newsom made it clear. “The hots are getting hotter; the dries are getting drier. Climate change is real. If you are in denial about climate change, come to California.”
While touring the devastating North Complex Fires near Oroville on Friday, Newsom called current state goals “inadequate to meet the challenges” and vowed to fast-track state efforts to combat the climate crisis.
Yet California continues to fan the flames as the seventh largest oil producing and third largest refining state in the country?
State lawmakers, with the exception of a few climate leaders, are increasingly falling under the thrall of oil and gas industry dollars. The Western States Petroleum Association, the largest and most powerful corporate lobby in California, spent $8.8 million on lobbying in 2019 alone.
Californians are being poisoned daily by pollutants emitted from California’s 81,500 active and idle oil and gas wells, pumps, refineries and pipes. Toxic oil and gas infrastructure – from freeways to oil rigs – are too often located in communities of color, dangerously close to homes, schools and hospitals due to historic redlining and racist redevelopment policies.
Read more at: https://calmatters.org/commentary/my-turn/2020/09/lawmakers-let-oil-and-gas-interests-sicken-us-gov-newsom-can-put-us-on-the-path-to-recovery/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=28eb561a-c380-430e-9f9f-745a3f45e261