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Demand bold climate action for California

Delivery to Governor Gavin Newsom

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What’s At Stake

As another round of record-breaking wildfires tear across our State, forcing tens of thousands to evacuate and blanketing the West Coast in hazardous smoke, it is clear that we are running out of time to stop the worst impacts of the climate crisis. For decades, we’ve known the deadly consequences of inaction. But even politicians who claim to believe in climate change have failed to take action at the speed and scale necessary. This is its own form of denial. But it’s not too late. We need our leaders to model bold and visionary climate action that centers justice for workers and communities, and we need it now. Please join us in urging Governor Gavin Newsom to take aggressive action to fight the climate crisis.

Last week, Governor Newsom said he was committed to take greater steps to address climate change. But so far, he has coasted on the actions of previous administrations, and has even issued increasing numbers of new drilling permits for oil and gas—the very fossil fuels that are causing our climate crisis. We need you to urge him to immediately take bold, concrete actions that will end our reliance on fossil fuels, and accelerate a just transition to a clean energy economy.

There are 5 concrete actions the Governor must take to protect our future:

  1. Stop issuing new oil and gas permits and begin a phase out of fossil fuel production
  2. Increase use of renewables to reach 100% clean energy by 2030
  3. Phase out dirty fuels in our homes by requiring all-electric new buildings by 2022
  4. Phase out polluting cars and trucks by moving to 100% zero-emission vehicle sales by 2030
  5. Appoint strong climate leaders to regulatory agencies such as the Air Resources Board to tackle climate change and environmental justice.

Each of these measures are key to fighting climate change while at the same time improving public health and creating millions of jobs. Moreover, Governor Newsom has the power to direct these actions today through Executive Order, without waiting for budgetary or legislative support. California needs this kind of bold and decisive climate action.

By committing to these actions, the Governor can show the world that in moments of crisis, Californians respond with visionary and transformative action. California’s leadership can model a path for the rest of the world, leading a generational response to the climate crisis and creating a safer, healthier, and more just planet. Please join us in emailing Governor Newsom or calling him at (866) 674-8185.

Noah Berger

Flames shoot from a home as the Bear Fire burns through the Berry Creek area of Butte County, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. The blaze, part of the lightning-sparked North Complex, expanded at a critical rate of spread as winds buffeted the region.

Your Actions Matter

Your messages make a difference, even if we have leaders who don't want to listen. Here's why.

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You level the playing field.

Elected officials pay attention when they see that we are paying attention.

They may be hearing from industry lobbyists left and right, but hearing the stories of their constituents — that’s your power.

Our legislators serve at the pleasure of the people who gave them their job — you. When you contact your elected official, you’re putting a face and a name on an issue. Whether or not you voted for them, they work for you, for the duration of their term.

Make sure your elected officials know whose community and whose values they represent. (Find your local, state, and federal elected officials.)

Your action is with us in court.

If a federal agency finalizes a harmful action, the record of public comments provides a basis for bringing them into court.

Throughout each of the public comment periods we alert you to, Earthjustice’s attorneys are researching and writing in-depth, technical comments to submit — detailing how the regulation could and should be stronger to protect the environment, our communities, and our planet.

We need you to join us — your specific experiences, knowledge, and voice are crucial to add to the Administrative Record through the comment periods.

Lawsuits we file that challenge weak or harmful federal regulations rely on what was submitted during the comment period. The court can only look at documents that are in the Administrative Record — including the public comments — to decide if the agency did something improper.

Your actions aid our litigation. Taking action and submitting comments during a comment period is substantively important.

It’s the law.

Federal agencies must pause what they’re doing and ask for — and consider — your comment.

Many of us may have never heard of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), but laws like these require our government to ask the public to weigh in before agencies adopt or change regulations.

Regulations essentially describe how federal agencies will carry out laws — including decisions that could undermine science, or weaken safeguards on public health.

Public comments are collected at various points throughout the federal government’s rulemaking process, including when a regulation is proposed and finalized. (Learn more about the rulemaking process.) These comments become part of the official, legal public record — the “Administrative Record.”

When the public responds with a huge outpouring of support for environmental protections, these individual messages collectively undercut politicians' attempts to claim otherwise.

What this means is each of us can take a role in shaping the rules our government creates — and ensuring those rules are fair and effective.