California Environmental Leaders Applaud Kevin de León, Next Senate Leader

Jun 17, 2014
By Jenesse Miller

The California League of Conservation Voters and other organizations active in California’s environmental community applauded yesterday's election of Senator Kevin de León to California state Senate President pro Tempore. Environmental advocates also thanked Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg for his courageous leadership on behalf of California’s environment and public health.

State Senator Kevin de León has a strong record of achievement in championing environmental protection, environmental justice, clean air and clean energy jobs in California. His bold leadership and ability to forge creative, dynamic, and effective partnerships between business, labor, environment and social justice advocates has benefited all of California’s diverse communities.

Senator de León’s first bill was AB 31 (2008) which has resulted in 127 park projects in low-income and park-poor communities across the state, from Eureka to El Centro. Since that time, Senator de León has developed and championed policy solutions to ensure our state’s most disadvantaged communities benefit from AB 32, California’s landmark clean air and energy law. Senator de León authored Senate Bill 535 (signed into law in 2012), a bill that will save lives by requiring that a percentage of cap-and-trade proceeds are invested in those communities.

Senator de León was the Co-Chair of the Yes on 39 campaign along with Tom Steyer and former Secretary of State George Shultz. In 2012 voters overwhelmingly approved Prop 39, which awards energy efficiency upgrade grants to economically disadvantaged school communities in ways that shrink our carbon footprint, create healthier environments for students, and create clean energy jobs. Senator de León was instrumental in crafting an agreement with Governor Brown on the best use of the funds to benefit California schools, our economy and our environment.

Recently, Senator de León introduced Senate Bill 1275, which aims to put one million electric vehicles on the road within the next decade. The “Charge Ahead California” legislation will accelerate the reduction of air pollution in severely impacted communities and ease the burden of fuel costs for struggling families. This proposal is only the latest example of Senator de León’s unique ability to advance solutions that boost our economy while also improving  public health and tackling climate change.

Environmental leaders throughout California responded with enthusiastic congratulations for the newly elected Senate President pro Tempore:

“We can think of no other choice better qualified to lead the Senate of the most prestigious legislative body in the country than Senator Kevin de León. We look forward to continuing to work together with the Senator and the entire legislature to protect California’s environment and public health and on our state’s national and global leadership on clean energy and solutions to climate change,” said Sarah Rose, CEO of the California League of Conservation Voters.

“Californians will breathe easier with Kevin de León leading the State Senate, as he has been a champion for clean air and environmental justice,” said Bill Magavern, Policy Director of Coalition for Clean Air.

“Environmental Defense Fund congratulates Kevin de León on being elected the new President Pro Tempore of the Senate. Senator de Leónis a strong environmental leader who will play a key role in realizing California’s clean energy potential and furthering our commitment to job growth and cleaner air. We look forward to a continued and expanded partnership with Senator de León to marshal innovative policies that strengthen the environmental and economic vitality of California,” said Lauren Faber, West Coast Political Director of Environmental Defense Fund.

"No one has done more to create local parks and other green places for families to safely play in our cities, than Senator de León,” said Rico Mastrodonato, Senior Government Relations Manager, The Trust for Public Land.

“NRDC looks forward to working with Senator de León to keep moving forward with California’s environmental, energy, climate and public health laws.  The State Senate’s leadership has been essential to California’s landmark environmental achievements – from Sen. Burton’s leadership on clean cars to Sen. Perata’s leadership on clean power plants to Sen. Steinberg’s sustainable communities and climate.  Let’s keep making history,” said Ann Notthoff, California Advocacy Director, Natural Resources Defense Council.    

"Senator de León has been a strong champion for policies for people and the planet.  His new role as Senate Pro Tem is good news for all of us, especially for under-served communities especially impacted by climate change,” said Vien Truong, Director, Environmental Equity, Greenlining Institute. 

"Senator de León is a 21st century environmentalist who is committed to protecting both the natural environment and the most disadvantaged communities of California, as demonstrated by SB 535, Prop 39 and current bills that invest billions in state funding to reduce climate pollution, promote clean energy and doesn't leave the most vulnerable Californians behind," said Mari Rose Taruc, State Organizing Director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network.



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