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Old Baldy, Canada | photo by Cameron Schaus
Politics and Issues

Sierra Club California's priority bills for 2008

Smart Growth/Global Warming.
SB 375 (Steinberg) would require certain regional transportation plans to include a sustainable communities strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Would provide incentives for more compact development, reduced driving, greater housing choices and conservation of farmland and habitat.

Clean Energy.
SB 411 (Simitian and Perata) would require investor-owned utilities to meet a Renewables Portfolio Standard of at least 33 percent by 2020.

Cleaner Air at Ports.
SB 974 (Lowenthal) would charge containers shipped through the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland in order to raise money for air quality and transportation improvements.

Land Use/Fire Protection.
SB 1500 (Kehoe) would allow the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to require local governments to guarantee adequate structural fire protection before approving development in high-fire-hazard State Responsibility Areas.

Fire Protection.
SB 1617 (Kehoe) would establish a fair and equitable new fee on homes in State Responsibility Areas to fund some of the costs of their fire protection. The fee would be tiered to give incentives for reducing fire risks, and would also fund proactive prevention activities.

Safer Products.
AB 1879 (Feuer and Huffman) would give the Department of Toxic Substances Control the authority to establish safeguards to protect people and the environment from consumer products containing known toxins like lead, mercury, and arsenic.

Recycling Mercury Thermostats.
AB 2347 (Ruskin) would require manufacturers to establish a program for recycling thermostats containing mercury, a potent neurotoxin.

Water Conservation.
AB 2175 (Laird and Feuer) would establish numeric water savings targets for urban and agricultural water use and require a 20% reduction in statewide urban per capita water use by 2020.

Outdoor Education.
AB 2989 (Fuentes) would create a permanent program in the Department of Parks and Recreation that would award grants to schools and non-profit groups that provide outdoor education and recreational opportunities for youth.