Environment

There’s an old saying: think globally and act locally. It’s never been more true than when it comes to protecting our environment. And there’s never been a more important time to act than right now.

Globally, 2015 was the warmest year on record. Here in California, we’ve seen the devastating effects of that climate change, including increased wildfires, flooding, and a historic drought.

Marc has been a leader on the Palo Alto City Council to make the city one of the greenest in the country, including:

  • Working with leaders from Palo Alto’s environmental and faith-based communities, Marc led the effort on Council to pass a resolution requesting that CalPERS divest from fossil fuel companies.

  • Marc voted to approve a Carbon Neutral Electric Resource Plan, committing Palo Alto to using 100% carbon neutral electric resources. During Marc’s time on the City Council, Palo Alto has moved aggressively to approve large solar power purchase agreements at very good rates, and the city is on track to achieve a 57% Renewable Portfolio Standard by 2017 at rates that will be cheaper than PG&E (the electricity provider to most of the cities in the 24th Assembly District).

  • After voting to remove carbon from Palo Alto’s electricity portfolio, Marc is leading the effort to encourage residents to transition away from natural gas appliances toward those powered by the city’s clean energy. Natural gas is almost as harmful to the environment as coal because of the methane released during extraction and delivery.

Locally, we have the power to act, and the potential to help reverse the trend. One of the main reasons Marc is running to represent Silicon Valley in the State Assembly is to harness our region’s innovative spirit to combat climate change and protect our environment, including:

  • Reducing our dependence on oil. California has been a national leader on increasing the renewable portfolio standard and setting ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals. But if we are going to achieve the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions necessary to slow the pace of climate change, we must improve the fuel efficiency of our vehicles. By 2028, we should be on the cusp of meeting Governor Brown’s goal of reducing our petroleum use by 50% by 2030.

  • Protecting our state’s natural resources. California’s 1.6 million acres of state parks are essential to our economy, our people, and our environment. However, years of underfunding have led to a maintenance backlog, restricted access, and threatened closures. By 2028, we should fully implement the recommendations of the Parks Forward Initiative to better manage our parks, make them more accessible, and ensure they protect our vital resources.

  • Restoring Bay Area wetlands. Sea level rise threatens to destroy billions of dollars worth of homes, roads, and critical infrastructure, and to disrupt communities across the Bay Area. Restoring our wetlands is the best prevention measure we have - but we must act now. By 2028, we should fully fund the $1.5 billion it will cost to restore 54,000 acres of wetlands around the bay.

  • Leading the way on sustainability. Silicon Valley companies are pioneering software and devices that can drastically reduce the natural resources we consume. In Palo Alto, we use behavioral software to educate utility customers about their energy use and suggest easy ways to cut back. By 2028, these technologies should be deployed statewide with incentives for municipal and consumer adoption.

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