On Thursday, leading environmental group the Sierra Club held a rally in Pasadena, California in support of Senate Bill 100, a piece of legislation that would commit the state to transition from fossil fuel-powered energy to 100 percent renewable sources. The bill has been gridlocked in the California legislature by the Utilities and Energy Committee, but a grassroots effort is underway to move it forward.
Kevin de León, the author of the bill and Senate President Pro Tem representing the city of Los Angeles, expressed his frustration with the stalled progress. "The people of California deserve clean energy, and we want a vote on the bill," de León said. The deadline for passing the bill is Friday, September 15 and the rally put pressure on lawmakers to listen to the people's demands.
Other states, such as Hawaii, have passed 100 percent renewable energy legislation. Environmentalists are calling for California to step up to the plate for clean energy leadership, especially as the Trump administration rolls back federal environmental protections.
What you can do about it:
- Even if you don't live in California you can still show your support for SB-100 online with the hashtag #SB100. Celebrity clean energy advocates like Bill Nye the Science, Mark Ruffalo, Jared Leto and Alyssa Milano have all backed the legislation on Twitter.
- Also, support clean energy initiatives in your hometown by learning more about the Sierra Club's Ready for 100 campaign. You can encourage mayors to commit your city or town to 100 percent renewable energy to create jobs, protect the environment and increase energy efficiency.
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Environmental justice is a movement that shows the connection between civil rights and environmental issues. On September 14, a nationwide study conducted by researchers at the University of Washington found that between 2,000-2,010 people of color were exposed to more more air pollution from vehicles and power plants than their white counterparts.
The senior author of the study, University of Washington Professor Julian Marshall, said, "At any income level -- low to medium to high -- there's a persistent gap by race, which is completely indefensible. It says a lot about how segregated neighborhoods still are and how things are segregated."