EJ Groups Develop Guiding Equity Principles for Department of Energy’s Hydrogen Infrastructure Funding

(Full post) Today, $7 billion in funding was announced that will shape our energy future – but the ARCHES hydrogen plan has blocked environmental justice organizations from participating in its entire process. This plan has the risk of being extremely dangerous if it is not handled with input from EJ, public health, and community based organizations that can ensure it does not perpetuate the systemic injustices we need to eradicate.
To that end, we have established guiding principles which represent our collective values and positions to support the communities of color and low-income backgrounds that we represent across the state of California.

✅ We only accept green hydrogen projects and uses that do not keep fossil fuel infrastructure online and meet the outlined equity principles.  
✅ We oppose all forms of  dirty hydrogen production.
✅We demand community consent and involvement in the development of any hydrogen project.  

📄 Read our joint statement on Equity Principles for Hydrogen

Major win against toxic emissions from refinery oil storage tanks in Wilmington and surrounding communities; Rule 1178

(See full post) CBE Wilmington was instrumental in a huge win today! Emissions from petroleum storage tanks are a major threat to the health of frontline communities, and today, we won major protections from these sources of pollution!
Earlier today, South Coast AQMD adopted amended rule 1178 as the first step toward protecting #FrontlineCommunities from the harmful pollutants & toxic chemicals they leak into our air! 🎉

🔑This major oil refinery regulation will cut cancer-causing benzene emissions & smog-forming Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in EJ communities. These mods are estimated to cut VOCs by about one ton/day -will also apply to the whole South Coast region.
It is projected to slash emissions by adding domes onto floating roof crude oil storage tanks that were previously exempted, require weekly inspection with Infrared Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) cameras to detect invisible leaks, and require more stringent standards for leaking seals.

“We had to push to get this regulation into the Wilmington, Carson, W. Long Beach Community Emissions Reduction Plan under #AB617 years ago.” said Alicia Rivera, Wilmington Community Organizer with CBE. “The regulation adoption is turning the plan into a real community win! The fight to phase out oil refineries also continues, but today we celebrate important protections for thousands living near these facilities.”

East Oakland Research Dept. Office Hours: Comment on the Environmental Justice Element of the Oakland General Plan

(Full Post) Make your voice heard and give your feedback on the Environmental Justice Element of the Oakland 2045 General Plan. Comment on the incompatible land use in your community and help create tangible changes that will improve your quality of life.

If you are living in Oakland, this plan will impact YOU! Set up a time with Sharifa, our East Oakland Staff Researcher, and she will help you submit your comment.

Here are the available office hours for Sharifa (30 minute appointments):

  • Thursday June 8th from 3-5pm
  • Thursday, June 15th from 9-11am
  • Wednesday, June 21st from 9-11am & 3-5pm

We hope to hear from you soon. Email Sharifa by clicking here, or send an email at Sharifa@cbecal.org

The Final Scoping Plan Vote!

(Full post) In 2022, you changed the way that climate plans get written. As California’s top air regulators put together their 20-year climate blueprint for California this year, thousands of people joined us in taking action to demand a climate plan that puts us on a path to a future beyond oil and gas where our families are safe from toxic pollution, asthma, and cancer.

Together, we sent over 10,000 letters to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and placed hundreds of calls to Governor Newsom. We held community meetings and rallies from Richmond to the Central Valley, and turned out in force to meeting after meeting in Sacramento.

In response, CARB made changes to the plan that will have huge implications for communities across California. The final Scoping Plan, which CARB voted on yesterday:

✅Stops the expansion of dirty gas power plants, investing instead in offshore wind.

✅Doubles the state’s targets for reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled – meaning more mass transit for all.

Creates a multi-agency process to coordinate the phaseout of oil extraction and refining in California.

Together, these changes mean that communities like ours across the state will breathe cleaner air and live in healthier neighborhoods, and be able to walk, bike, and commute to work and school more easily.

However, major elements of the final plan will bring real harm to our communities and our climate. Alarmingly, the final plan still relies far too heavily on carbon capture schemes, which could keep fossil fuel infrastructure online indefinitely, in addition to subsidies for fuel sources like dirty hydrogen and biofuels that increase pollution in California’s working-class communities of color.

In the coming years, we will need to fight to make sure that the burden of the energy transition doesn’t fall on the communities already hit hardest by pollution. 

At the meeting yesterday, CARB members and the Chair spoke in support of a permanent Environmental Justice Advisory Committee, which was instrumental in lifting up the voices and perspective of frontline communities in this year’s Scoping Plan Update. They also confirmed that there will be a dedicated process in 2023 to create rules regulating proposals for new Carbon Capture and Storage projects in California. These are procedural changes that our advocates have been calling for and that create real opportunities for us to make sure frontline voices are centered at CARB in the next few years.
But for right now, we should celebrate our wins. Whether you wrote a letter, called, marched, rallied, gave public comment, or engaged on social media – thank you for standing in solidarity with California’s frontline communities this year.

CBE Statement on Racist Comments by Los Angeles City Councilmembers Nury Martinez, Gil Cedillo, Kevin De León, and former LA County Fed President Ron Herrera

(Full post) Councilmembers Nury Martinez, Gil Cedillo, and Kevin de León must resign NOW!  We denounce the racist, violent, anti-Black, anti-Indigenous, and homophobic rhetoric heard in the leaked audio from public servants and a labor leader, some of whom CBE has worked with closely in pursuit of environmental health and justice. These Councilmembers and former labor leader have betrayed our trust, the trust of their constituents, and communities across Los Angeles. We demand accountability for their racism and assault upon democracy. There is no place for bigotry in the movement for environmental justice.

Community members are the true voices of Los Angeles. No politician or city leader can take away from the beauty, power, and worth of the Black American/ African American/ African Descent, Indigenous, Central/ South American, and Latine/Latinx communities in LA. CBE is committed to centering and advancing the rights and dignity of multiracial, multiethnic, LGBTQIA+, tenants, families, and children in Los Angeles and across the state.  We are fighting to dismantle institutional and systemic racism, white advantage, settler colonialism, and anti-Blackness that is pervasive and divisive.  

The recorded backroom conversations are indicative of gerrymandering. Equally troubling is that Latine/x Councilmembers Martinez, Cedillo, and De León’s callous plans to remove assets from Black communities are reminiscent of redlining, a historically discriminatory practice that limited resources and services to communities based on racial characteristics, which still affects these communities today. In addition to voicing repugnant views, we believe that these three councilmembers may have violated California’s vital sunshine law, the Brown Act, whose purpose is to prevent backroom, biased decision-making. Therefore, we ask for a full investigation into these conversations and the historical actions of these council members. CBE joins allies in the call to reevaluate the redistricting process, as we also believe that these councilmembers were actively strategizing to erase Black political power.  

Far too often in our communities, some people embody white advantage ideals and actions to compete for resources and power. As we collectively move towards a Just Transition and towards a better way of being, we must address bigotries so as not to replicate the same policies and actions that got us here. 

Angelenos deserve elected officials who value the richness of diversity and work towards building our collective power and liberation. Unity and solidarity are needed now more than ever. We join our movement partners to demand the immediate resignation of Martinez, Cedillo, and De León. Together, we can root out people who aim to divide us, move forward in electing the representation communities deserve, and deliver on equity and justice

Nizgui calls on Governor Newsom & CARB to plan for a phaseout of fossil fuels in California

(Full post) Nizgui Gomez has fond memories of growing up in Wilmington: going to the waterside park with her cousins, getting ice cream from an ice cream truck.

The problem: right next to the park was the Phillips 66 oil refinery, polluting the air and making children sick.

“Children play near there. It definitely makes me frustrated that we have these industries next to our parks. I don’t think it’s fair we have to settle to that.”

Now, Nizgui organizes in her community with Communities for a Better Environment, and continues to fight for a #FutureBeyondOil for Wilmington and frontline communities across California.

Join Nizgui in calling on Governor Newsom to direct his top air regulators to plan for a phaseout of fossil fuels in California: call (866) 932-1358 or head to caleja.us/newsom to take action 📞📞

“We need a target date to phase out fossil fuels in California. Politicians need to do better for the people who elected them in that position. They need to actually hear our voices because that’s not something that they’re doing. And if that’s not something that they’re willing to do, then we’re going to kick them out.”

Shout out to the folks at Survival Media, CEJA and APEN for their incredible work on this video!

We are part of the 2022 Justice40 Accelerator Cohort!

(Full post) We are honored to be part of the 2022 Justice40Accelerator cohort, joining 48 other community-based, climate-justice organizations to apply local knowledge and wisdom to solutions on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Learn more about our work https://www.justice40accelerator.org

Somos parte del cohorte de Justice40 Accelerator del 2022. Somos un grupo de 49 organizaciones comunitarias de justicia climática que aplican nuestros conocimientos y sabidurías locales a las soluciones en la primera línea de la crisis climática. Visite ➡️ https://www.justice40accelerator.org

Wilmington Community Gathers to Expose Illegal Oil Drilling 6/1/2022

Warren Resources is surrounded by homes in Wilmington, CA
and sits adjacent to a local baseball park

(Full post) Joined by Congresswoman Nanette Barragán , residents and allies, CBE & Stand Together Against Neighborhood Drilling (STAND LA) held a press conference today exposing extensive illegal drilling by Warren Resources.

Alison H., CBE Attorney kicks off the press conference to bring the various permit drilling applications at Warren Resources to light

CBE Attorney Alison H. kicked off the press event by outlining Warren’s numerous violations since 2018, including failure to conduct environmental reviews as required by local laws and submitting permit applications to the state with potentially fraudulent information.

Congresswoman Nanette Barragan speaks at the press conference on June 2, 2022

With remarks underscoring needing to hold Warren accountable for illegal drilling as a matter of justice, Congresswoman Barragan said: “If it’s a fight they want, they’ve got one. We won’t stand silent & let them prioritize profits over the health, safety & quality of life of our community.”

During the event, Wilmington residents Nizgui G. & Dulce A. spoke about the health impacts their communities have suffered from for years due to oil drilling, clearly stating that Warren’s activities disregard public health & put profits over people.

Dulce, Wilmington resident urges the city of LA to put an end to these dangerous drilling operations that are hurting her family

“We have sued & won protections, there are laws in place that are supposedly there to prevent this from happening. We did it the right way, the correct way, the legal way, & STILL we don’t have the justice we deserve because simply put, NO OIL DRILLING IS SAFE!” Nizgui, CBE YEJ

Nizgui, Wilmington resident passionately urges the city and state to act in favor of community health by shutting Warren down

Holman United’s Rev. Louis A. Chase urged the city to shut down Warren’s Banning facility and expedite the drafting & adoption of the ordinance that will phase out oil drilling based on the motion the L.A. City Council passed in January 2022. Rev. Chase highlighted the role frontline communities have played in the fight against oil drilling, saying: “It is because of residents & advocates like all of us standing here today, that the L.A. City Council took the historic 1st step toward phasing out oil drilling in January.”

Reverend Louis Chase, member of STAND LA and pastor at Holman United Methodist Church urges the city of LA to pass a phase out ordinance as soon as possible

THE BOTTOM LINE IS: Warren has been sidestepping local review and fabricating information in their permit applications to #CalGEM. In fact, some of Warren’s fabricated applications are still pending before CalGEM today. This discovery is especially disappointing because the whole point of creating CalGEM was to shift oversight focus to holding fossil fuel companies accountable and to safeguard public health and the environment.

ON MARCH 10 CBE members and staff decided to stand up and fight back against Warren’s illegal operations. We submitted a letter to LA City outlining how Warren is gaming the system, and called on the City to shut down these illegal operations.

IN MID-MARCH LA City found Warren in violation of the LA Municipal Code and issued an Order to Comply. However, Warren appealed this Order to only further delay accountability. And in the meantime, Warren is operating under those same CalGEM permits, and illegally polluting our community every day.

WE KNOW ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE IS POSSIBLE. We’re calling on LA City and CalGEM to start the process of suspending these illegal operations and ordering a shut-down. No one should be forced to live on the frontlines of toxic oil drilling operations. And to learn that Warren has been illegally expanding operations twists the knife.


Thanks to STAND-LA, CBE, Congresswoman Barragan, and most importantly, all the frontline communities for continuing to fight for No Drilling Where Were Living and pushing the city to take actions that will protect the health of all Angelenos.

June 7th California Primary Midterm Elections

(Full Post) The June 7th California primary midterm election is coming up real soon. Are you ready to vote? Check your voter status online: registertovote.ca.gov After you’ve checked your status and you’re ready to vote, head over to ballottrax and sign up to track your ballot! Make sure to register before May 23rd!

Las elecciones primarias de mitad de período de California son el 7 de junio y se están acercando pronto. ¿Está preparado para votar? Verifique su estado de votante en línea: registertovote.ca.gov ¡Después de que usted haya comprobado su estado y esté listo para votar, diríjase a balottrax y firme para rastrear su boleta! Asegúrese de registrarse antes del 23 de mayo.

What’s your vote plan for the California primary midterm election? Use our 4-point checklist to ensure that your ballot is cast and counted:
✅Check your registration status! Make sure you are registered by visiting voterstatus.sos.ca.gov. If you are not registered, register at registertovote.ca.gov.
✅Make a vote plan! Make sure you and your family have a plan to vote early to ensure your vote is counted.
✅Learn what’s on your ballot! Read your voter guide to learn more about the candidates and what they stand for.
✅Track your ballot! After you vote, make sure it gets to the elections office on or before June 7th! Visit california.ballottrax.net/voter/

A partir del 9 de mayo, todos los votantes registrados en California recibirán una boleta de voto por correo. ¿Cómo está devolviendo su boleta? ¡Asegúrese de firmar y sellar su boleta y luego puede devolverla de cuatro maneras!: 

1. Por correo (no se necesita sello!) 

2. En un lugar de votación. 

3. En una urna oficial. 

4. En la oficina de Elecciones del Condado.