Call your State Legislators Today!
California’s legislature will vote on Monday July 17th on a much-debated pair of bills that address both climate change and air pollution. The bills extend California’s cap-and-trade program and improve air pollution monitoring and enforcement. The bills also reaffirm the importance of sustainable agricultural solutions to climate change. Please find more background on the bills below.
This is a critical time to call your state representatives and urge their support in continuing California’s global role as a leader on climate change. The future of the state’s Climate Smart Agriculture programs is at stake. Phone calls are much more impactful than email and it takes only less than a minute leave a message.
The message is simple: “I’m calling to support AB 398 and AB 617, which reaffirm our commitment to climate change action in California, including funding for the Climate Smart Agriculture programs. The programs provide crucial resources for farmers and ranchers to address climate change and improve our environment overall.” Give your name and town/city.
Make those calls! Let us know what you hear from your state Senator and Assemblymember. Drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Background: Since 2014, the California cap-and-trade program has regulated greenhouse gas emissions from the largest emitters in the state. The program has also invested over $3 billion in climate change programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make our communities more resilient., including almost $200 million in grants to farmers for Climate Smart Agriculture programs.
The cap-and-trade program is set to expire in 2020 unless it is extended by the state legislature and Governor Brown. Assembly Bill (AB) 398 extends the cap-and-trade program and reforms the program. AB 617 is companion measure that seeks to improve toxic air contaminant monitoring and enforcement from stationary sources, like oil refineries. Click here to read our support letter on AB 398 and AB 617.
The extension of cap-and-trade with needed reforms will allow California to continue to meet its greenhouse gas emission reduction goals and invest in community solutions to climate change.
With the current vacuum in federal leadership on climate change action, California’s ongoing commitment to tackling the climate crisis is critical, and has international implications.
The state’s Climate Smart Agriculture investments include:
Healthy Soils Program: New this year, the Healthy Soils Program will fund on-farm soil management projects and demonstration projects that improve carbon storage on farms and ranches, while also improving air and water quality.
State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP): An enormously popular program, SWEEP has funded over 500 irrigation improvement projects, saving water and energy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Administered by CDFA, SWEEP funds irrigation management improvements like switching diesel powered water pumps to solar, soils moisture monitoring, drip irrigation and more.
Dairy Methane: The Dairy Methane programs include grants for dairy digesters and the new Alternative Manure Management Practices Program, to fund changes in dairy management, like composting, dry manure management, etc., that reduce potent methane emissions.
Sustainable Ag Lands Conservation Program (SALCP): SALCP funds conservation easements on agricultural lands at risk of sprawl and rural ranchette development. To date, easements have been funded on 33,000 acres in 17 counties. The program also funds local government policy efforts to improve farmland conservation and prevent urban sprawl.