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OpEd - Building A More Sustainable Future by Assemblymember Bill Dodd


OpEd - Building A More Sustainable Future

By Assemblymember Bill Dodd

We live in beautiful region, and it’s critical that we come together to ensure we protect and improve it. That’s why I decided to serve in the state legislature in the first place – I wasn’t happy with the state that we’re on course to leave to our children and grandchildren. Across Sonoma County and across our state, people are looking for a good quality of life for their loved ones, and together, I truly believe we can leave future generations a better and more sustainable world.

We need a sustainable economy that supports small businesses and provides good paying jobs. We need stable school funding that invests in the leaders of tomorrow. And we need a sustainable environment which is critical to achieving these goals. This means addressing the threat of global climate, and I’m proud to say that California has continued to build on our record of leading this fight.

This year we made important strides and meaningful progress to make our state more sustainable. The state Legislature passed Senate Bill 350 by Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León, and in doing so we have recommitted to lead on this issue. This bill will do several important things, including:

  • Setting us on a path to getting 50 percent of our energy from renewable sources by 2030.
  • Developing policies to increase energy efficiency in our buildings by 50 percent.
  • Increasing our electric transportation infrastructure.
  • Codifying our goal of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 1990 by 2050.

I was proud to join Senator de León and my colleagues in the legislature to support this important measure. The final vote in the Assembly also included several Republicans, making this a bipartisan measure. No matter what side of the aisle you’re on, this issue impacts us all.

Protecting our environment can also support a strong economy. It’s critical we demonstrate that our policies are thoughtful and allow California to prosper, so that other states and nations will follow our lead.

Last year California secured half of the global venture capital investment in clean tech, bringing $5.7 billion into the state. The state’s investor owned utilities, such as PG&E, are on track to exceed the target set by AB 32 in 2006 of 33 percent renewable energy by 2020. Over the last decade we’ve proven that California both grow our GDP and reduce our emissions.

These policies will not only help address greenhouse gas emissions, they will help improve our health. According to the American Lung Association, the nation’s five most polluted cities in terms of particulate matter and ozone are in California. Eight out of 10 Californians are living with unhealthy air. It’s estimated that our clean transportation policies will save upwards of $8 billion in healthcare costs in California by reducing asthma attacks, hospitalizations, and premature deaths due to air quality.

While there is certainly more work to be done, our state has made meaningful progress in a number of crucial areas. One area where we’ve made significant progress is protecting our environment. With the passage of SB 350, we have set ourselves on a path to substantially increase renewable energy, energy efficiency in buildings, and get more electric vehicles on the road. I believe we will continue to build towards our goals next year and beyond.



Assemblymember Bill Dodd represents the 4th Assembly District, which includes all or portions of Sonoma, Napa, Lake, Solano, Yolo, and Colusa Counties. You can learn more about Assemblymember Dodd and the district at