Help Resuscitate SB 246 Oil And Gas Tax

2020 Oil Stain – CA Dirty Crude 2017         2020 Oil and Gas Tax Sample Letter

Also see following article: California Oil Among World’s Dirtiest

By Doug Brooms, ZWAC Chair and Portia Sinnott, Editor
Despite being an oil and gas producing state for over a century, California is purported to be the only one out of 34 oil and gas extraction states without ever having a severance tax. Since the 1990s, there had been at least five successive oil and gas tax Bills that had been introduce in the California Legislature, but were derailed.

In 2019, SB 246 “Oil and Gas Severance Tax” by Senator Bob Weizkowski and Senator Ben Allen, would have imposed a 10 percent oil and gas severance tax levy on oil producers. The revenue derived would have gone into the state’s general fund.

SB 246 was introduced 2/11/19, but never advanced out of the Senate Governance and Finance Committee. The Bill was amended 1/6/20 and languished again in the committee chaired by Mike McGuire, but again did not advance before the 1/31/20 deadline for 2-year Bills.

The Bill had the support of no less than 18 organizations. The SB 246 Fact Sheet and the then SB 246 Sample Support Letter provided compelling justifications for the tax, but neither had mentioned anything regarding the additional benefits to Climate Change mitigation.

The 2020 Oil and Gas Tax Sample Letter, was crafted mostly by doing cut and paste from a number of online articles on Oil and Climate Change. The articles below were sent to a legislative assistant to Senator Wieckowski. The reply was that unfortunately the bill is effectively dead, and that Senator Wieckowski will not be reintroducing the bill nor actively soliciting other members to pick up the mantle.

The eight members of the Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies could likely be more receptive to the resurrection or revision of a likewise Bill, preferably for 2020, with a better chance of navigating through committees. Please use these documents to prepare a persuasive request to resuscitate SB 246 and them to your Senator and the members of the aforementioned committee.

Rampant Oil Production Undermines State’s Climate Leadership
Center for Biological Diversity, 11/2017
Three-quarters of California’s oil is as climate-damaging as Canadian tar sands crude, according to a Center for Biological Diversity report released today at the United Nations climate change conference in Bonn, Germany.

Oil Stain: How Dirty Crude Undercuts California’s Climate Progress found that eight of the state’s 10 largest-producing oil fields produce very dirty crude with greenhouse gas emissions comparable to tar sands oil. The report detailed how the state’s dirty oil problem is compounded by policies that incentivize crude production.

… Despite the climate and public-health harms of its oil extraction, California is currently the third-largest oil-producing state. Tax breaks, weak regulation and minimal oversight encourage aggressive oil development in the state. California regulators issued more than 3,300 drilling permits for oil and gas wells in 2015 alone. []



March 10, 2020

NCRA Recycling Update and Zero Waste Week Activities Postponed

As all are aware, the COVID-19 virus is spreading rapidly and has become a serious global health concern. The consensus of expert advice is that it would be unwise to move forward with large events at this time. Many of our speakers and attendees from various  businesses and agencies have been given travel and meeting restrictions, while others are choosing to not travel.  The absence of so many attendees would have a noticeable effect on Recycling Update.

Therefore, we have decided to postpone RU2020 and the other Zero Waste Week events, perhaps until September/October. We will get back to you with a revised plan.

Postponed Zero Waste Week events include:

        • Recycling Update
        • Zero Waste Youth Convergence
        • Green Drinks @ Spats
        • Urban Ore Welcome Reception
        • Zero Waste USA Training
        • Berkeley Food Network Tour
        • Chou Hall Tour
        • Renewal Mill / O2 Artisans Tour
        • North Bay Tour
        • Livermore Compost Tour
        • Dance to Zero Waste
        • Race to Zero Waste (virtual option pending)

The National Zero Waste Conference (NZWC) is no longer meeting in-person and the organizers are researching alternatives. They are not planning a September/October 2020 NZWC at this time.

As the duration of the Covid-19 epidemic is unknown, any new dates for RU2020 and Zero Waste Week may be subject to change.  We will keep you apprised of the situation as it unfolds.  Thank you for your patience and understanding. (Sorry about the automatic reminder earlier today.)

We encourage you to keep your registrations and join us in September/October. These events fund our non-profit and make possible Zero Waste advocacy and education programs. We appreciate your support!

If you need to cancel, please confirm with your team supervisor first – if appropriate. If approved, please use the NCRA Office Contact Form and select REFUND as the subject.  Juliana will be working on this closely and you will receive a refund within 30 days.

For all of you still attending public events, we suggest you follow CDC protocols. This includes following good hygiene and being vigilant about it, including washing hands often, not touching your face with unwashed hands and using hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available. Also, consider options for a handshake free greetings, such as:  wave, smile, make eye contact, Namaste, fist bump, elbow-bump, footshake or point one finger to say hello to old and new friends.


National Zero Waste Conference

CDC: Mass Gatherings
CDC: Sick With Coronavirus?
City of Berkeley

San Francisco

Clean Seas Lobbying Coalition 2020

NCRA is a new member of the Clean Seas Lobbying Coalition. This group of very interesting non-profit organizations is dedicated to source reduction solutions to the plastic pollution crisis. The members are:

The 5 Gyres Institute (Los Angeles)
Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research and Education (COARE) (Oakland)
Heal the Bay (Santa Monica)
Northern California Recycling Association (Berkeley)
Plastic Oceans International
Plastic Pollution Coalition
Save Our Shores (Monterey)
Seventh Generation Advisors (Santa Monica)
UPSTREAM (San Francisco)
Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation (Ventura)
Zero Waste USA (Sebastopol)

Previous members include The Story of Stuff Project and Surfrider Foundation

The Coalition contracts with Ecoconsult to provide lobbying services. Justin Malan, the principal and founder has more than 25 of experience in Sacramento as a legislative and agency consultant, as well as independent advocate. Our primary contact is Genevieve Abedon who has been with Ecoconsult since January 2017. Before joining, Genevieve worked on both statewide and local plastic pollution policy and campaigning for Californians Against Waste. In the past she has worked as a Landfill Reduction Technician at various events and sailed across the North Atlantic Ocean studying microplastic pollution with The 5 Gyres Institute.

Ecoconsult’s preferred modus operandi is collaboration. They secure meaningful results for clients by working closely with their existing strategic partners and by building foundations for future coalitions and partnerships. They have a successful record of getting sponsored bills signed into law.  But the work doesn’t stop there – they also use their extensive regulatory and program management experience to ensure that the state effectively and efficiently implements their clients’ legislation.

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America Recycles Day 2019

By Doug Brooms, ZWAC Co-Chair

The 23rd Annual “America Recycles Day” (ARD) as always will be on November 15, 2019. ARD is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and to buy recycled content products. Each year since inception in 1997, the ARD campaign has increased in awareness and has continued to evolve. Since 1997, at least 79,850 Americans have taken the Pledge to increase their recycling habits at home and at work.

The US Environmental Protection Agency now has an America Recycles web page. Should NCRA also join the list of “Pledge Signatories”, current count at 167? See Consider taking an Individual Pledge in solidarity. Encourage others to consider doing likewise. Read More “America Recycles Day 2019”