Our Legislative Victories

We are hopeful and optimistic that we can effect change.

We’ve road-tested practical solutions to combat climate change. We know what needs to be done to adapt to a changing world, and to better prepare our communities for the future. We push policymakers to support and scale clean energy solutions. These solutions will redefine how our buildings, roads, and other city infrastructure can become more energy efficient.

Our Victories in California

Significantly reducing greenhouse gas and tailpipe emissions

We helped elect Fran Pavley, one of California’s great environmental champions. Sen. Pavley championed a bill requiring significant reduction of greenhouse gases from tailpipe emissions, which became the model for the federal government’s tailpipe standards in 2010. She also passed AB 32, a greenhouse gas reduction bill that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. This landmark legislation set a new national standard for climate change policy. EnviroVoters also worked closely with Sen. Pavley and Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia on SB 32, setting an even bolder target of reducing emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

In 2007, California Environmental Voters worked closely with Darrell Steinberg, former President pro tempore of the Senate and current Mayor of Sacramento. The charge: to advocate for reducing tailpipe emissions through smarter land use planning. We collaborated with Steinberg to champion a bill encouraging more dense, urban, transit-oriented development. The legislation made it clear that placing homes near transit, jobs, and basic goods and services would help residents to get out of their cars and onto bikes or public transit. Because of SB 375, Metropolitan Planning Organizations are required to provide strategies for how they plan to achieve the climate goals in AB 32. This brought climate change decisions to the local level and allowed cities to decide what worked best for them to reach mandated climate reductions.

Championing California’s commitment to 100% clean energy

California Environmental Voters plays an essential role in California’s climate leadership, championing policies requiring deep emissions reductions in our energy sector. EnviroVoters helped pass legislation requiring that renewables account for a percentage of all energy in California, with benchmarks to be met in 2010 and 2020. The state not only met, but exceeded those targets early in both cases. California reached 20 percent renewable energy in 2006 and 33 percent in 2011 — nine years ahead of schedule.

California Environmental Voters didn’t stop there, also championing the charge to make California the largest economy in the world to commit to 100 percent clean energy. SB 100, a commitment to 100 percent renewable, carbon-free power by 2045, met resistance from Assemblymembers who protected corporate interests over their communities. These oil industry diehards went on to resign from office, and EnviroVoters helped replace them with champions for environmental justice who voted proudly for the bill. It became law in 2018, cementing California as the nation’s leader in the fight against climate change.

Protecting California’s families and our children’s future

California Environmental Voters won a victory for our children with California’s BPA ban, paving the way for the rest of the country to follow suit. This fight began when we helped elect Betsy Butler, a former EnviroVoters staff member who introduced the bill in the Assembly. EnviroVoters mobilized thousands of supporters to champion her groundbreaking legislation. A year after the bill became law in California, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered for all baby bottles and children’s drinking cups to be BPA-free. Companies no longer wanted to make different baby bottles for different states. It was because of California’s leadership that chemical companies gave up on this fight.

Our Victories in Washington

Pushing Back against Polluting Pruitt

When President Trump nominated Scott Pruitt to head the EPA, we generated a public outcry. Pruitt had in the past sued the EPA, fought environmental protections enacted by President Obama, and consistently denied climate science. Pruitt represented the very threats the EPA should protect us against. We mobilized approximately 25,000 people to contact Senator Dianne Feinstein to oppose Pruitt’s nomination. She attributed her decision to oppose his nomination to the amount of public feedback she received. After still being confirmed, Scott Pruitt resigned in disgrace amid an ethics scandal.

Protecting Our National Monuments and Public Lands

When we heard that the Kern County Board of Supervisors, with the Trump Administration’s support, planned on stripping protections form the region’s beloved Giant Sequoia National Monument, we jumped into action. Within 72 hours of learning of this threat, we fundraised and launched a campaign to respond. We initiated phone calls to Kern County residents that allowed them to patch through directly to their County Supervisor’s office. The Board of Supervisors reversed their position following this outcry. It was a clear message to this Administration: we will not stand for their attacks on California’s national monuments, parks, and natural resources.

Permanently Re-Authorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund

When congressional leadership decided to bring the 1964-approved Land and Water Conservation Fund up for a routine vote, we knew we need to take our efforts to the next level by urging Congress to permanently re-authorize the nation’s most important conservation program aimed at protecting our water resources and outdoor recreational spaces. LWCF was established more than half of a century, but in that time, the program has been raided for non-conservation purposes. We joined together with over 100 key partners in the Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition to seek and win permanent reauthorization of the fund with bipartisan cooperation in Congress.

Building Democracy. Electing Environmental Champions. Protecting Our Future.

We are California's voice, statewide and nationally, for bold climate action. We elect and cultivate environmental champions, turn election victories into policy wins, hold our lawmakers accountable, and build political power to transform our political system and achieve climate justice.

Learn More about our work