How This Affects You

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In 2006, California took a bold step toward cleaning our air and building a new, clean energy economy by passing the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32). This groundbreaking law committed California to reducing the carbon pollution that damages our climate, moving away from dirty fuels like oil and coal, and expanding safer, cleaner energy sources like solar and wind. We’re doing it by charging polluters for the pollution they cause and putting that money to work in our communities – to save energy, expand clean power, boost access to clean transportation and help Californians pay their energy bills, while creating jobs in our communities.

This affects us all, but the old, dirty energy economy hurt some neighborhoods more than others. Too often, low-income communities were used as dumping grounds for dangerous and dirty facilities like refineries and freeways – facilities that wealthier areas don’t want. Five of California’s smoggiest cities have the most people of color and low-income residents, and these communities will suffer from the worst increase in smog associated with climate change.

In 2012, California passed a second law, SB 535, to guarantee that one quarter of polluter fees charged under AB 32 would benefit these neighborhoods, with at least 10 percent guaranteed to go to projects actually located in these communities. The neighborhoods that most urgently need clean air and good jobs are getting both! To see exactly where those dollars are going, visit Climate Benefits for California. For an in-depth look at 10 projects that show how these dollars benefit underserved communities, see California’s Climate Investments: 10 Case Studies.

California’s climate justice and clean energy laws help clean the air and save consumers money, and now we can make them even better. Already, the state has expanded and improved its clean energy program, and in 2016 we have a chance to improve it even more — to bring cleaner air and good jobs to more neighborhoods and families that need them the most! Please read about this important effort and join the campaign.

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CHARGING POLLUTERS

The idea is simple: Make polluters pay for the damage they cause when they dump filth into our air—$872 million in 2015 alone and as much as $2.7 billion in 2016—and put that money to work in our neighborhoods.

Expanding Our Climate Justice Clean Energy Law

In 2016 the California legislature is considering a new bill, AB 1550, to make California’s climate justice and clean energy law even better. AB 1550 will send more dollars paid by polluters to the neighborhoods with the most smog and greatest needs, and also help low-income families throughout California save money and access clean energy.

Investing in Our Neighborhoods

Hundreds of millions of dollars raised by making polluters pay are already on their way to our communities: Planting trees, building affordable housing near transit, and much more. Click to discover how those dollars are cleaning the air while bringing investment and jobs into our neighborhoods

Cleaning Our Air, Protecting Our Health

Every year, dirty air kills over 9,000 Californians and costs us tens of billions of dollars. Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable. Click to learn about air pollution and health, and how our clean energy law is helping make our neighborhoods healthier.

Take Action

What you can do now to keep UpLifting our neighborhoods and make sure the polluters don’t undo the progress we’re making!

Help and Opportunities

Real benefits available now—energy efficiency, clean transportation, business opportunities and more!