Press Releases

California: Broad Coalition Of Environmental Justice, Climate Groups Oppose Cap And Trade Bill

Today, a broad and deep coalition of climate and environmental justice groups announce their opposition to AB 398, the cap and trade bill that began with a Western States Petroleum wish list.

“The Cap & Trade extension was written by the oil industry, is even worse than the current failed program, includes preemptions from local action, gives away so many free credits we will never meet climate goals, and allows oil refineries to expand indefinitely with no program for Just Transition to clean energy that is so desperately needed in EJ communities,” says Julia May, senior scientist at Communities for a Better Environment.

“California can help ensure the world is still a liveable place for our grandchildren and great grandchildren, but only if we demonstrate the necessary leadership. We must reduce carbon emissions as aggressively as possible and do so without throwing our most vulnerable communities under the bus. Democrats in California must find the courage to reject the selfish, short-term priorities — and campaign contributions — of corporate polluters and embrace a climate policy that protects all Californians. We can do this, but not with AB398,” states Eddie Kurtz, executive director of Courage Campaign.

“AB 398 began as a Big Oil wish list, and it hasn’t improved since then.  The climate crisis demands a moral response, not another round of compromised politics. While we appreciate the governor’s desire to extend cap and trade, we suggest that he’s better off talking to the authors of SB 775 and/or tearing up this draft and starting again next year, with a bill that will put Californians’ health first,” says RL Miller, president of Climate Hawks Vote.

Over 50 groups, representing climate and environmental justice groups throughout the state, have announced opposition to AB 398. The bill is set for a floor vote in the state Senate on Monday, July 17. Groups include:

Californians for a Carbon Tax (CalFACT)

Sierra Club California

Courage Campaign

Intex Solutions, Inc.

GIT Partnership

Fossil Free California

350 Bay Area

CA StateStrong

Ventura County Climate Hub


Wasteful and Unreasonable Methane Rising


Universal Income Project

Climate Hawks Vote

350 Conejo-San Fernando Valley

SoCal 350 Climate Action

350 Silicon Valley

Food & Water Watch

Sunflower Alliance

Friends of the Earth – US

California Environmental Justice Alliance


Indivisible East Bay



Communities for a Better Environment

Center for Biological Diversity

Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC)

Strategic Concepts in Organizing & Policy Education

Progressive Democrats of America

Save Porter Ranch

Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice

Fight Climate Denial

Divest LA

La Union Hace La Fuerza

Comite Civico del Valle

California for Progress

San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, The Climate Mobilization

Peninsula Interfaith Climate Action

Oakland Climate Action Coalition

Asian Pacific Environmental Network

South Bay (Los Angeles) 350

Idle No More SoCal

No Coal In Oakland

Insight Center for Community Economic Development

FUN (Fremont, Union City, Newark) Progressives

Consumer Watchdog

Oil Change International

Climate Truth

Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability

Additional quotes from coalition members:

“California is a worldwide leader in climate action, but AB398 reneges on this leadership by forsaking frontline communities. Californians deserve climate action for all, environmental justice groups are ready to work on better and more inclusive solutions”

Marce Gutiérrez-Graudiņš, Founder & Director, Azul

“Since Californians are bearing the burden of progress through higher costs, it’s critical that any extension of cap-and-trade include a Climate Dividend Fund that returns revenue directly to all state residents. AB 398 fails to protect the low- and middle-income communities hit hardest by a carbon tax.”

Jim Pugh, Co-Director, Universal Income Project

“Save Porter Ranch opposes AB 398. Oil and gas companies get more free credits to pollute in a faulty “pay to pollute” scheme. We are fighting Sempra on the Aliso natural-gas blowout. Sempra must be paying for the damage done by its pollution, not getting another tax break.”

Richard Mathews, Board Member, Save Porter Ranch

“This deal is climate policy written by billionaires for billionaires. Climate speculators and big polluters look to continue getting rich while affected communities around California and around the world are put in real danger by this greedy business as usual capitulation to Big Oil being perpetuated by Gov Brown and proponents of AB 398.”

Gary Graham Hughes, Senior California Advocacy Campaigner, Friends of the Earth

“We are extremely disappointed that Governor Brown would forsake California’s climate leadership by rushing AB398, a fundamentally flawed cap and trade bill, through the legislature. We must extend cap and trade in a manner that helps California reach climate targets, eliminates the flaws in the existing program, and prioritizes California communities, rather than giving massive handouts to the biggest polluters.”

Jiggy Athilingam, co-founder, CA StateStrong

Brown WSPA

Paid for in part by Climate Hawks Vote Political Action. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

Get Updates