Last Friday, a group of California State Senators launched another attack on California’s ability to reduce global warming pollution by attempting to slash our premier environmental and public participation law, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Several Republican Party Senators have threatened to block the entire state budget unless the California Legislature accepts a recent polluters’ plea to ignore global warming pollution when assessing a project’s environmental impacts under CEQA. This “ostrich exemption” would allow polluters to continue sticking their heads in the sand, pretending that projects like oil refineries, freeways, and suburban sprawl simply don’t create greenhouse gases. It’s dangerously loopy logic, but if they can convince the Senate to play along, we could see California’s bourgeoning fight against global warming come to a skidding halt.

The Senate will reconvene Wednesday morning to continue negotiations on the state budget. We’re asking Governor Schwarzenegger and state legislative leaders to turn back this assault. But they need to hear from you too!

Please call Senate leader Don Perata, Governor Schwarzenegger, and your state Senator AS SOON AS YOU CAN!

Here’s what they need to know:

• Please fight this latest attempt to create an “ostrich exemption” in the California Environmental Quality Act. If developers are responsible for global warming pollution they need to admit it to the public and clean up their act, not bury their heads in the sand.

• The California Environmental Quality Act is our best tool to hold these polluters accountable. For more than thirty-five years it has shed light on decisions that could harm the environment and public health and forced polluters to take reasonable actions that improve their projects. It must continue to carry out its key roles as California fights global warming pollution.

• When the Legislature and the Governor passed AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, it was a call for strong, decisive action, not an opportunity to dismantle California’s existing environmental laws.

• Please publicly denounce this attempt by polluters to hold the state budget hostage. Global Warming is too serious to let these ostriches win.

If possible, please call before the Senate reconvenes on Wednesday morning.

Senate Pro Tem Don Perata

Governor Schwarzenegger

To contact your state Senator click here.

For more information please contact PCL’s Global Warming program manager Matt Vander Sluis at or (916) 313-4515.

Gary Patton is the Executive Director of the Planning and Conservation League, a statewide, nonprofit lobbying organization. For more than thirty years, PCL has fought to develop a body of environmental laws in California that is the best in the United States. PCL staff review virtually every environmental bill that comes before the California Legislature each year. It has testified in support or opposition of thousands of bills to strengthen California’s environmental laws and fight off rollbacks of environmental protections.


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