Leading the nation in environmental protection
Leading the nation in environmental protection

From its dramatic coastline to dense forests, majestic mountains and diverse desert ecosystems, California is unparalleled in its natural beauty. Our state must remain at the forefront of environmental leadership as we tackle some of the planet’s greatest challenges. The impacts of climate change are already being felt today. Our state has faced a devastating drought, damaging wildfires, and deadly mudslides. And to make matters worse, we now have to fight the backward policies coming out of Washington D.C.

Since taking office, President Trump has overturned or announced his intention to overturn dozens of environmental rules. His picks to lead the Energy Department, Interior Department, and Environmental Protection Agency are openly antagonistic toward the mission of the agencies they run. Collectively, they are moving at breakneck pace to reverse the great progress achieved by the environmental movement. It is outrageous that the Trump Administration has proposed removing protections for public lands, opening up the Arctic and our coastlines to oil drilling and pulling out of the Paris Climate agreement. Despite these challenges, California will continue to lead the nation and the world in clean energy, conservation, and the fight against climate change.

Gavin knows that California does not have to wait for Washington to be a global leader on any issue — and certainly not when it comes to energy, the environment and the economy.

As Governor, Gavin will:

Combat Climate Change and Put California on a Path to 100% Renewable Energy

On his first day in office, Gavin will issue a directive putting California on a path to 100% renewable energy. It’s achievable and it’s necessary. In fact, he believes that we can surpass our 100% goal by positioning California as a net exporter of energy to other states and nations. It’s a money maker for us and the natural next step in our global leadership – a classic example of California innovation. We are already making great strides toward that goal. Thanks to the leadership of Governor Brown, California’s utility companies are expected to meet the requirement that they receive 50% of their electricity from renewable sources ten years early. We will continue to diversify our energy supply, increasing our output of green alternatives like solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, and ocean-based energy, all the while improving our energy efficiency through stronger green building standards, construction codes, and efficiency standards for electronics and appliances.

Set California on the Fast Track to Zero Diesel Pollution by 2030

Meeting our ambitious climate goals will require an overhaul of the transportation sector, which accounts for 39% of California’s carbon emissions, representing the state’s single largest source of air pollution. As Governor, Gavin will design a visionary goods movement strategy that modernizes our ports, improves efficiency, electrifies our transit system, bolsters economic productivity, and cleans our air. He will also set a goal of zero diesel pollution by 2030. California has already set a goal of 5 million zero-emission vehicles by 2030, a far cry from the 315,000 currently on the road. Gavin believes that instead of driving jobs out of the state, we need to replace diesel with zero pollution clean technology like hydrogen fuel cells and electric vehicles.

Protect California’s Public Lands

When the Trump Administration threatened to undo our state’s National Monument designations, Gavin fought back because he understands that these protections connect our citizens to our nation’s past, provide a spiritual grounding in the present, and inspire bold visions for the future. He fought to preserve public access to public beaches, and has gone up against the Trump administration to protect sensitive habitats like the Mojave Trails National Monument and our coast. The state has also experienced a historic disinvestment in its parks. As Trump rolls back protections for public lands, Gavin is determined to make our public places more accessible for all Californians. As Governor, he will invest in our parks, and work with the California Conservation Corps, CalVolunteers and others to connect folks with their public spaces. He supports the parks and water bond that the Governor and Legislature put on the ballot, which places appropriate emphasis on urban parks that serve underserved communities.

Improve the Reliability of California’s Water Supply

The drought was a wake up call to the impacts of climate change and the immediate need to rethink the way we use water. As Governor, Gavin will scale effective technologies like drip irrigation to reduce water waste and remote sensing technology to understand how much water is needed to irrigate both fields and residential yards. He will lead the effort to replenish our groundwater basins and in this era of limited reliability, increase our use of recycled water. Simply put, Gavin believes we have to be smarter about how we store and utilize this resource to ensure that our economy, communities and natural places can all thrive.

Defend California’s Coastline

Gavin believes that new oil and gas development in the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf threatens the environment, delays the nation’s movement toward renewable energy development, contributes to increased greenhouse gas emissions, and adversely affects tourism and fisheries. Coastal water quality is deteriorating, particularly in Southern California. Unsurprisingly, President Trump rolled back the Clean Water Rule, which would have strengthened protections from waterways that lead to the Pacific. As Governor, Gavin will strengthen state enforcement to crack down against those that pollute our rivers, lakes and ocean, and in doing so, protect the interests of our coastal fishing industry and everyday Californians who flock to the beach for recreational purposes. He also opposes fracking and other unsafe oil operations and is committed to the highest standards of public transparency, public health, and public safety above all else. He believes that fracking poses potentially significant health and environmental risks that need to be studied, monitored, and tested for aggressively, and will fight efforts by the oil and gas industry to escape the reach of state and federal regulators.

Fight for Environmental Justice through Clean Air, Clean Water, and Secure Food

Communities of color are consistently the strongest champions of environmental policy and yet often suffer a disproportionate burden from pollution. Huge sums of federal money flow through Sacramento but not enough of it makes its way to the communities that need help most. Moreover, Trump’s EPA budget eliminates environmental justice funding.

  • As we decarbonize our economy, Gavin will consider it a personal failure unless we identify new ways to benefit all communities. Any shift to renewable energy must be leveraged to build economic opportunity. As Mayor, Gavin shut down the old, dirty Hunter’s Point Power Plant and when they built a new state-of-the-art recycling facility, he required that first priority for jobs went to local residents.
  • Despite our state’s environmental leadership, too many communities in California claim the unfortunate distinction of having some of the worst air quality in the nation. As Governor, Gavin will safeguard the percentage of cap and trade dollars earmarked for communities that have borne the burden of environmental injustice. He will ensure that the polluter pays, by instructing CalEPA and relevant agencies to conduct a review of enforcement programs, and empowering folks on the ground to supplement those efforts.
  • Upwards of a million people in California live in homes with contaminated drinking water, and they tend to be poor, and heavily Latino or African American. It’s an embarrassment that so many of our fellow Californians go home at night and can’t drink safely from the faucet or bathe their kids in clean water — and yet still pay their utility bills. As Governor, Gavin will direct the California State Water Resources Control Board to rectify this injustice and work with the Legislature to solve this moral crisis.
  • Gavin will double down on the production of organic and sustainable food, and promote food security, particularly in low-income communities and, disproportionately, communities of color that lack access to healthy choices. It’s ironic and bizarre that the San Joaquin Valley grows the food for the nation but poor communities there do not have an adequate supply of their own.

Counter the Threat of Wildfires

The extreme fires that ripped across the state this year upended lives and cost California billions of dollars. As Governor, Gavin will take active steps to reduce the risk of fire, including the removal of dead trees, which can be used as a resource for our energy sector. We must also continue to protect our state’s watersheds, and make our forests more resilient. In preparing for this threat, we not only protect our valuable wildlife but strengthen our communities.

Launch the California Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (CARPA-E)

California is home to some of the brightest minds in the country – a product of our remarkable universities and robust economy. Gavin will launch CARPA-E, modeled after the federal agencies that brought us the Internet and other technological advances. We can attract this talent into public service to help us achieve our innovation agenda and ensure we remain on the forefront of innovation.

Create an Energy Grid Fit for the 21st Century

As Governor, Gavin will harness the ingenuity of Silicon Valley and Silicon Beach, and utilize California technology to create a 21st century grid capable of powering the world’s sixth largest economy. He believes we can meet the design challenge of building a grid that integrates renewable energy and electrifies transportation while maintaining reliability.