AP News: Democratic lawmakers in California introduce a package of climate bills
By Sophie Austin
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Democratic lawmakers in California introduced a package of climate bills Monday aimed at holding corporations accountable for their greenhouse gas emissions.
The bills include legislation to require companies to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions to the public, ban the state’s public pension funds from investing in major fossil fuel companies, and create a group to analyze climate-caused financial risks for corporations. Similar efforts in prior sessions have failed to win enough support, but the Democratic lawmakers behind them say they’re hopeful for a different outcome this year.
The policy group California Environmental Voters came out in support of the bills, saying the state has the opportunity to serve as a model for increasing transparency by companies regarding their emissions.
Last year, California Democrats passed bills focused on banning new oil and gas wells near homes and schools, establishing guidelines for capturing and storing carbon, and committing to expanding renewable energy sources. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has pushed policies to wean the state off oil and gas within the next few decades, including by banning the sale of most new gas-powered cars by 2035 and ending the controversial practice of fracking.
Democratic Sen. Lena Gonzalez, of Long Beach, introduced a bill aimed at prohibiting the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System from investing in the largest fossil fuel companies, including oil, gas and coal producers. A similar bill last year passed in the Senate but didn’t get a hearing in the Assembly.
“I’m hopeful that this year with the new makeup of the Assembly, with more coalition and with more emphasis on this crisis that we can actually get this done,” Gonzalez said.