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Write Governor Newsom to let him know how disappointed and angry you are at his veto of SB 1! Tell him not to betray California by standing with Trump on the environment.

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Dear Governor Newsom

My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a resident of California. I’m writing because your veto of SB 1 - The California Environmental, Public Health and Workers Defense Act - disappointed and alarmed me.

SB 1 would have protected California from the effects of recent and future environmental rollbacks by the Trump administration. It was good legislation that would have allowed California to add back environmental protections provided before Trump took office and began his aggressive assault on the federal Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and Endangered Species Act. SB 1 would have given California agencies a tool to hold the line against the Trump Administration’s erosion of restrictions protecting us from corporate polluters and from the unsustainable consumption of limited resources by corporate interests. Vetoing SB 1 was a rash decision based on false information.

SB 1 passed in both houses of the legislature by large margins and was supported by major environmental groups. But still you vetoed it when it reached your desk. Your veto creates the unfortunate appearance that you yielded to “a massive and furious lobbying effort against SB 1 by agricultural water districts and wealthy farming interests who were determined to kill this bill because it sought to require that the federal Central Valley Project comply with the California Endangered Species Act” (Kim Delfino, Director of Defenders of Wildlife). It creates the appearance that you support corporate interests even when those jeopardize our health and the environment.

I’m disappointed that you could not look beyond the objections of special interest groups to SB 1 to see how much California would have benefited from having legislation that provided both a practical tool to oppose the Trump Administration’s assault on basic protections and a clear sign of environmental leadership from the governor of California. When it comes to our fight for protecting the environment against the current Administration, we expect you to take the moral high ground in the future.

Background

The CA Environmental, Public Health and Workers Defense Act or SB 1 would have returned California law to the wording of the federal Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act that existed before any of the Trump administration rollbacks were introduced. As Sarah Rose,Director of Audubon California, states: “With the Governor’s veto, California has missed an important opportunity to protect the state’s residents, habitats, and imperiled wildlife. Since taking office, President Trump and his administration have been aggressively weakening standards for clean air, clean water, and wildlife protections. Without SB 1, California will be less prepared to defend itself and its natural resources.”

Both houses passed SB 1 overwhelmingly. Major environmental groups supported it. But Governor Newsom vetoed it anyway, swayed by wealthy special interests which have long been eager to tap water resources beyond environmentally sound limits. In vetoing SB 1, Newsom sided with Trump on the environment and catered to the powerful but narrow agribusiness interests in central and southern California at the expense of endangered species and our health.

The threat to California isn’t theoretical. Shortly after the Governor’s veto, a California Sierra Club press release noted the damaging effects of the Trump Administration’s use of opinion to challenge science:
“Trump Administration Releases Biological Opinion that Dooms Salmon and Other Fish in California. The U.S. Department of Interior today released a long-awaited biological opinion outlining the impacts that taking increasing amounts of water out of the San Francisco Bay Delta will have on its ecosystem. The opinion concludes that more water can be removed from the Delta without harming fish and wildlife than most scientists have independently concluded.”

SB 1 is based on the good science used by previous administrations to craft environmental protections not the opinion of the compromised Director of the Department of the Interior, David Bernhardt, a former lobbyist for the same agri-business interests that swayed Governor Newsom.