City Councilman Paul Koretz asked his colleagues Wednesday to support proposed state legislation that would make current federal environmental, labor and consumer protection standards enforceable under state law, even if the federal government rolls back the standards.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has signaled he will veto Senate Bill 1, questioning its effectiveness. The bill has already been passed by the state Assembly and Senate.
“At this point in climate and biodiversity history, when nature is desperately struggling, we need every measure in place to protect and enhance our environment,” said Koretz, who introduced a resolution asking the council to support the bill. “California’s global leadership is essential, and I hope Governor Newsom will reconsider, approve this important legislation and continue his great environmental progress.”
Mayor Eric Garcetti also sent a letter of support to the governor. According to Koretz, SB 1 would complicate efforts by the Trump administration and Congress to reduce protections of the federal Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act and other laws.
The bill would enforce such protections on the state level even if the federal government reduces them. It would also direct state environmental, public health and worker safety agencies to keep 2017 standards in effect.
“I fully support the principles behind Senate Bill 1,” Newsom said in statement last week reported by the Los Angeles Times. “(It) does not, however, provide the state with any new authority to push back against the Trump administration’s environmental policies. And it limits the state’s ability to rely upon the best available science to protect our environment.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has also opposed the bill.
The last day for the governor to sign or veto bills is Oct. 13.
President Donald Trump announced Wednesday he will revoke California’s authority to regulate vehicle emissions.
Trump said via Twitter the revocation was “… in order to produce far less expensive cars for the consumer, while at the same time making the cars substantially safer. This will lead to more production because of this pricing and safety advantage, and also due to the fact that older, highly polluting cars, will be replaced by new, extremely environmentally friendly cars.”
Trump said there would be “very little difference” between California’s emissions standards and the federal government’s, and the federal standards would create more jobs.
“Automakers should seize this opportunity because without this alternative to California, you will be out of business,” Trump said.
Garcetti issued a statement saying, “Nobody knows better than Angelenos the importance of putting more efficient vehicles on our roads so we can get deadly, toxic fumes out of the air. And everybody can see what the Trump administration is really trying to do: sabotage progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and place the interests of the fossil fuel industry over Americans’ lives and pocketbooks.”