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A Win for the Books: Supporting #SB350 in California

Posted by Brianna Esteves at Oct 08, 2015 12:00 AM |
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BICEP members were instrumental in bringing the business voice in support of key climate and clean energy policies SB 350 and SB 32 to the forefront of the debate in California.
by Brianna Esteves, Associate, Policy Program Ceres Posted on Oct 08, 2015
A Win for the Books: Supporting #SB350 in California

Ceres staffer Kirsten James alongside BICEP members Rachelle Wenger (Dignity Health) and Larry Gotlieb (KB Home) at the SB 350 signing ceremony in Los Angeles

BICEP members were instrumental in bringing the business voice in support of key climate and clean energy policies SB 350 and SB 32 to the forefront of the debate in California.

This summer, companies mobilized in support of both crucial bills, which would set an overarching climate pollution reduction target for California of 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 (SB 32) and set targets of 50% renewable energy and a 50% increase in energy efficiency in existing buildings by 2030 (SB 350). Fourteen BICEP members and many other California-based businesses sent a letter in favor of SB32 to the state legislature, saying that “clear, achievable climate pollution reduction targets” will provide critical accountability and business certainty for the long term in California. BICEP members and others also sent a letter encouraging support for SB 350, saying that crafting a long-term climate policy requires a “sustained, adaptive effort,” and that “SB 350 provides and ambitious, yet achievable, roadmap to move us forward.”

This August, Rachelle Wenger of Dignity Health and Ben Thompson of Autodesk spoke on a press conference in Sacramento alongside the authors of both bills to shed light on why businesses like theirs support strong climate legislation in California. The power is in our hands today to make a difference in stemming the release of harmful greenhouse gas emissions that we know are already negatively impacting human health, the environment and our economy,” said Rachelle Reyes Wenger, Director of Public Policy and Community Advocacy at Dignity Health. “SB 32 and SB 350 are common sense policies that our state needs now. That’s why Dignity Health is standing with Senator Pavley and Senator de León today in support of these measures.” On the same day as the press conference, representatives from six California companies met with the offices of 15 key California legislatures to discuss the importance of these bills.

Thankfully, BICEP’s hard work culminated in a victory. While SB 32 was unable to pass this year, BICEP was proud to stand by Governor Brown’s side as he signed SB 350 into law. Despite a strong opposition, BICEP members and others made their voices heard that smart, progressive climate policies are good for California and good for California’s economy.

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