As Legislators Return to Capitol, New Ad Campaign Demands “Climate Courage” from Democratic Senate Leaders

Press Release
August 16, 2021

Even as Californians grapple with record-setting drought, wildfires and heat, CA Senate was a “bloodbath” for climate protection legislation this year


CONTACT: Stefanie Lao, 424-282-0922, [email protected]

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Environmental Voters (EnviroVoters) today launched a new ad campaign, “Climate Courage” calling for Democratic leaders in the State Senate to stop delaying climate action. The ads come as legislators prepare to return to the Capitol August 16th and as California is facing a climate crisis: record drought, heatwaves, and battling near year-round wildfire seasons.

The campaign includes digital ads and mailers in San Diego and Los Angeles, focusing on the role Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Senate Majority Leader Robert Hertzberg and Senate Energy Chair Ben Hueso played in halting critical climate crisis legislation this year. The ads call on leaders to show “Climate Courage'' and with wildfires raging implore these leaders, “Don’t let California go up in smoke - pass climate action legislation now!”

“Teaming up with Big Oil to delay action on the climate crisis is simply unconscionable when the impacts from climate inaction are hurting Californians now - families have lost their homes to fires, drought is costing workers their jobs, and our kids’ future is in question,” said Mary Creasman, CEO of EnviroVoters. “Voters want California’s Senate leaders to show climate courage and stand up to big oil interests so we can get serious about protecting California’s environment, economy, and our children’s future. Stopping climate action in California is simply unacceptable.”

California is experiencing seismic shifts in the size and scale of impacts from the climate crisis fueled by big oil: intense wildfires, severe drought, extreme temperatures, and public health threats from poor air and water quality. The longer California delays passage of legislation that will transition buildings to becoming fossil-fuel free, hold corporations accountable for their climate emissions, and protect communities from the impact of oil extraction.

Headlines across California spotlight the role of leading Democrats in halting crucial climate legislation this year.

Senate pro Tem Akins’ appointment of state Sen. Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) to the Natural Resources and Water Committee earlier this year was as close to a coup as the oil industry could get,“ Capitol and Main reported June 22. The same story notes “abstensions from committee members Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-San Fernando Valley), who is currently the Senate Majority Leader, and Sen. Ben Hueso (D-Imperial Valley)“ effectively killed a ban on fracking.

A June 6th San Francisco Chronicle headline called this year a ‘bloodbath’ for environmentalists, noting “Nearly every major environmental measure at the Capitol has been killed or shelved this session, from a bill that would have required buffer zones around oil drilling sites near homes to another that would have required large corporations to report their greenhouse gas emissions.”

The ad campaign directs audiences to the Climate Courage campaign website,, and video content encourages viewers to demand immediate action from Senate leaders who have stalled urgent climate action legislation.

California Environmental Voters (formerly the California League of Conservation Voters) believes the climate crisis is here and this moment requires transformative change. California has the policy solutions to stop climate change but lacks the political will to do it at the rate and scale that’s necessary. EnviroVoters exists to build the political power to solve the climate crisis, advance justice, and create a roadmap for global action. We organize voters, elect and train candidates, and hold lawmakers accountable for bold policy change. We won’t stop until we have resilient, healthy, thriving communities, and a democracy and economy that is just and sustainable for all. Join us at and on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. See more press releases.

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