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Taking Decisive Action Amid Worsening Climate Crisis

September 8, 2022

Dear Neighbors,

The last few weeks have brought blistering heat to San Diego and the entire state, where we’re also grappling with an ongoing drought and dangerous wildfires. That’s why it is so important that we take decisive action now to protect our communities and prepare for the worsening climate crisis — which is exactly what the California Legislature recently did.

In the final hours of the 2022 Legislative session, my colleagues and I worked hard to advance a package of climate bills that will help our state address the severe conditions all around us and mitigate future risk. We set firm goals to reduce carbon emissions and increase renewable energy, and provided the tools we need to meet those goals. Recognizing the lopsided impact climate change has on vulnerable communities, we provided equitable relief, critical funding for infrastructure programs, and created good-paying union jobs.

I worked with my colleagues Senator John Laird (D-Santa Cruz), Senator Anna Caballero (D-Merced), and Senator María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) to author and pass SB 1020, the Clean Energy, Jobs, and Affordability Act of 2022. SB 1020 adds interim targets to require renewable energy and zero-carbon resources to supply 90% of all retail electricity sales by 2035 and 95% of all retail electricity sales by 2040, which will ensure that California makes steady progress towards the full decarbonization of California’s electricity grid. It also requires all state agencies to rely on 100% renewable energy and zero-carbon resources to serve their own facilities by 2035, and encourages better information-sharing and coordination on transmission planning between the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California Energy Commission (CEC) and California Independent System Operator (CAISO).

Highlights of the climate package also include legislation to help us achieve 100% clean and renewable energy by 2045, establishing a workable plan to meet our greenhouse gas reduction targets, setting health protective zones that limit new or improvements for oil and gas wells, and codifying carbon neutrality goals to ensure that laws and regulations work together to achieve necessary changes. We also passed bills to address multiple facets of our climate challenge, including carbon sequestration for working lands, establish­ing a regulatory process for the evolving technology of carbon capture, changes to ensure our electricity grid can meet California’s future electrification goals, and establishing and promoting multiple efforts to ensure ALL Californians will have access to zero emissions vehicles. 

As you read this, our ambitious package of legislation is sitting with Governor Newsom for his signature. I applaud all of my colleagues for their relentless dedication to this issue, and their enduring commitment to finding real solutions for our California.

Warmly,

Toni Atkins signature
Toni Atkins
Senator, 39th District