Issue Position: Environment

Issue Position

Date: Jan. 1, 2016

Kamala believes that California's great strengths include its dramatic beauty and environmental diversity: from the tall, mist-shrouded redwoods to vast desert vistas; from stunning sandy beaches to rushing rivers and the soaring Sierra Nevada mountains; from productive agricultural valleys to rolling, oak-studded hills.

This year saw the Sierra snowpack -- a vital source of water for California -- at its lowest level in 500 years. Californians can see the bathtub rings that now line our reservoirs, showing where these critical reserves once stood just a few years ago. Climate change is a clear threat to our water supply, public health, and our economy.

As Attorney General, Kamala defended California's landmark climate change law from challenges by the biggest polluters, like Big Oil. She continues to be a leader in fighting to improve air quality across our state and prosecuting polluters who disregard our environmental protections. She's partnered with other attorneys general in the important effort to defend the President's Clean Power Plan. And in Washington, she'll bring California's environmental leadership to the national stage. Kamala believes that Congress needs to finally address climate change in a bold way. It's time the United States helps lead the world, and this starts by setting a strong example at home.

Fight For National Climate Change Legislation & Sustainable Economic Growth: For too long, Congress has refused to pass any legislation to fight climate change and global warming. Instead, Republican majorities in both chambers are working to undo the rules that keep our air clean and protect our future. In the Senate, Kamala will stand up to the climate change deniers and fight to pass national climate change legislation that promotes innovation like establishing a carbon tax or creating a cap-and-trade market for carbon pollution.
Create Clean Energy Jobs To Sustain Economic Growth: Congress has missed many opportunities to spur creation of clean energy jobs, which will strengthen and sustain our economy, power our businesses, and protect our natural heritage at the same time. Kamala will fight to establish a national cap-and-trade market for carbon pollution that will spur investments in clean energy jobs and technology, giving California companies a leg up in a new greener economy and making them more competitive in the global economy over the long term. Learn more about her overall plans for strengthening our economy.
Protect President Obama's Clean Power Plan: Because of Congress' failure to act on climate change, President Obama has taken the lead putting in place more stringent fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards. Kamala led dozens of attorneys general in supporting the President's actions. In Washington, she will fight to ensure these vital standards won't be undone by Congress.
Establish A Federal Renewable Energy Standard For Electricity: California has been a leader in ensuring that more than one-third of our electricity comes from renewable energy sources. That work should be a model for the rest of country. In the Senate, Kamala will look to replicate this energy mix across the United States by supporting plans to create a 40 percent national renewable energy standard for electricity providers by 2035.
Increase Investments In Clean Energy Research, Development & Production: California has been on the forefront of the clean energy revolution, and our work is paying off. But we are still many years away from clean energy being a sufficient power source. Kamala believes we can speed up the process by investing more federal dollars in clean energy research and development through successful programs, and she supports expanding and making permanent the wind production tax credit and the solar investment tax credit.
Combating Climate Change Is Good For Our Economy: Without long-term planning, climate change impacts like rising sea levels will create massive economic disruptions since coastal communities are home to 40 percent of America's population. Kamala believes in fighting climate change by investing in clean energy, improved energy efficiency of our homes and buildings, smart grid upgrades, and public transportation -- all investments that will sustainably lower energy costs, create jobs, and help clean our air. Get more details on her plans for creating economic opportunity for all.
A Comprehensive Approach To Our Water Crisis: California is in the midst of one of the worst droughts in our state's history. Every Californian needs to continue conserving -- the cheapest, most effective way to increase our water resources -- but we also need to update our aging water infrastructure, increase our stormwater capture and storage capacity, and make smart investments in water recycling, purification, and desalination. That's why Kamala supports a comprehensive, long-term, comprehensive approach to creating a more sustainable water future for California's children.
Conserving Water For Immediate Savings: Kamala believes all Californians must conserve water -- our most precious resource. Reducing water usage is the fastest, cheapest way for all Californians -- families, businesses, and communities -- to increase water capacity and stretch our water supplies further.
Improving Water Infrastructure & Increasing Water Storage Capacity: Our water delivery infrastructure was designed decades ago when California had only a fraction of our current population. Not only is this infrastructure crumbling, but it also isn't meeting the needs of a modern California. Instead of holding onto precious rain water after a storm, many of our coastal water systems simply flush it out to the ocean. Kamala would support efforts to increase rainwater storage capacity and supports the urgent need to restore and modernize the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Investing In Water Recycling & Desalination Technologies: This water crisis and drought are opportunities for California to make smart investments in and utilize new technologies that help increase our water supply. Already, communities across the state are using water-recycling technology to expand water resources. And Israel is already showing how successful desalination plants can be at supplementing water supplies. In the Senate, Kamala would lead an effort to build out and improve these and other technologies.
Preserving California Lands & Our Natural Treasures: California's natural diversity and biodiversity are worthy of protection and preservation, and our state's leaders have a long history fighting for our coasts, mountains, and deserts for future generations. From Alan Cranston to Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, California Senators have long stood up to protect public lands and natural heritage, and in the Senate, Kamala will carry on that legacy of vigorously defending our coasts and waterways, valleys, deserts, and forests.