This originally appeared on TransForm's blog, TransForum.
With two days left in the legislative session, Governor Jerry Brown and leaders of the Legislature announced Wednesday night that they would remove the provision from SB 350 that would have set a goal for the state to cut petroleum use by 50% by 2030.
Oil industry front groups had been fighting hard against SB 350 to protect their profits, spreading lies through expensive advertising campaigns and lobbying around the state. We're extremely disappointed that not enough of our state leaders stood up to pressure from the oil industry.
Yet even as the Sacramento Bee calls this "a major setback for Governor Brown's climate agenda," there are two significant silver linings to note.
First of all, we know that TransForm's efforts made an impact in the debate about SB 350. Thanks to emails from people like you, state leaders had recently strengthened SB 350 to include investing in ways that make it easier and safer to get around without a car (like bike lanes, safe sidewalks, and reliable buses and trains).
Senator De Leon made SB 350 better as a result of our involvement. We will continue to press for better public transportation, safer walking and biking, and more affordable homes near transit to be a focus of California's climate protection initiatives.
Following our belief that health is about way more than just what happens in a doctor’s office, at CPEHN we have been working a lot in recent years to address the social and environmental determinants that impact our health. One of the main factors we have focused on is transportation. From pedestrian injuries to unequal access to public transit, transportation inequities often coincide with health disparities, particularly in low-income areas and communities of color. One of our successes has been the passage of our sponsored bill AB 441 in 2012, which included health and equity criteria in the state’s transportation planning guidance.