California Environmental Justice Alliance

Building Healthy Communities from the Ground up

Playing chutes and ladders in California climate and energy politics

Did you ever play that old board game Chutes and Ladders? Often, California climate and energy politics feels like you are stuck in some version: sometimes we move up the ladder towards clean energy and climate justice, and often we slide down the chute towards more fossil fuel use. Here is CEJA’s overview of whether some the recent rolls of the dice in California climate and energy politics got us closer to winning or sent us down the chute towards expanded climate chaos:

Up the ladder: CEJA helped pass a new bill, SB 43 (Wolk), that will help build more renewable energy in low-income communities! Check out this article on the bill.

Down the chute: Big utilities wielded their big stick and pushed through an electrical rate reform bill that will raise energy bills for working class Californians by as much as $120 annually. Read all about it here.

Up the ladder: There is an amazing coalition of community groups that are fighting for a moratorium on fracking, and Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment has launched an exciting campaign to draw attention to the environmental justice impacts of fracking in the Central Valley, but….

Down the chute: California passed a new law that essentially green-lights fracking throughout the state (SB 4). Read why the bill is so bad. Good thing our grassroots movements are strong and will keep fighting!

Up the ladder: In July, Southern California Edison announced that it will permanently shut down the San Onofre Nuclear power plant after a long string of costly and dangerous failures.

Down the chute: The big utility has been doing everything it can to avoid responsibility, from blaming other companies to trying to pass the costs onto ratepayers. Now they are using the closure as an excuse to build new natural gas power plants in San Diego that are not needed. No more dirty power plants!.