Issue Position: The Environment

Issue Position

California is home to some of the most striking vistas and significant environmental resources in the world--from the incomparable beauty of Lake Tahoe to the rugged landscapes of the Mojave Desert.

California, the country and the world face significant challenges in preserving our natural resources and protecting the air we breathe and the water we drink.


California is grappling with the effects of an historic drought. Senator Feinstein's Emergency Drought Relief Act passed the Senate and her staff is working together with the House to come up with real solutions.

Climate Change

Our planet is warming as a result of manmade greenhouse gas emissions. This is changing the climate, and the devastating effects can already be felt. Unless we act swiftly to reduce our carbon footprint, our children will face unacceptable risks to their health, prosperity, security and natural environment.

Senator Feinstein has long been a champion for policies to address climate change. As chairman of the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, one of her top priorities each year is robust funding for research and development of renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency improvements.

To reduce emissions from the transportation sector, Senator Feinstein also led a bipartisan effort to enact legislation increasing fuel economy standards.

The law mandates that fuel economy standards must be based on science and increase as quickly as technically possible. As a result of Senator Feinstein's Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy Act, the Obama administration announced in 2012 that fuel economy must reach 54.5 miles per gallon for cars and light-duty trucks by 2025.

And to address emissions from the electricity sector, Senator Feinstein strongly supports the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, which proposes state-by-state goals to reduce emissions.

Protecting California's Public Lands

Preserving California's natural resources for future generations has long been one of Senator Feinstein's top priorities.

She has achieved passage of the California Desert Protection Act, which preserved more than 7 million acres of pristine desert, and the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act, which began a multi-year clean-up effort.

Senator Feinstein is currently working to pass updated legislation to protect Lake Tahoe and the Mojave Desert.

California's public lands are under constant threat of wildfire, which is why Senator Feinstein has fought for funding for wildfire prevention, including hazardous fuels reduction. She also supports changing how wildfire suppression is funded to ensure restoration and prevention funding does not need to be diverted to fight wildfires.

Senator Feinstein enacted protections for the Redwoods of the Headwaters Forest, and raised substantial private funds to supplement public monies to purchase the San Francisco Bay Salt Ponds and begin their restoration as natural wetlands.