August 6, 2020
San Diego350 and Mothers Out Front CA Strongly Condemn Senator Hueso’s No Vote on AB 345
Call on him to reverse vote when bill is reconsidered next week
Today, the Natural Resources Committee of the California State Senate voted down California Assembly Bill 345, which would have protected California families and children from the health impacts of oil and gas drilling.
SanDiego350 and Mothers Out Front California expressed their disappointment with Senator Ben Hueso who voted against AB 345. Hueso represents South Bay San Diego out to Imperial County.
Over 5 million Californians—overwhelming people of color—live within a mile of drilling sites. AB 345 would have recommended a 2,500 ft public health buffer between oil extraction sites and the communities living, working, attending school, and playing near them.
Although 79% of Californians supported the proposed buffer zone and thousands of San Diegans voiced their support as well, the Committee voted against the health of the communities they represent.
“Senator Hueso’s vote today prioritizes oil company profits over community members and families in California,” said Elaine Maltz, SanDiego350’s volunteer Legislative Committee Chair. “This vote will perpetuate environmental racism in California by failing to protect the health of its most vulnerable residents, especially now during COVID-19 when people living in polluted environments are at a much higher risk.”
“While the committee voted to reconsider AB 345 on August 12, it seems unlikely it will pass this session without the Senator’s vote,” she added. “I can’t stress enough how important it is for Senator Hueso to reverse his vote when the bill is reconsidered next week.”
“I am so discouraged by Senator Hueso’s vote and his comments at the Committee hearing today,” said Sandy Naranjo, California Organizing Manager with Mothers Out Front CA, referring to the Senator apologizing for wasting the committees’ time on discussion of the bill today. “It is heartbreaking that my Senator was the crucial vote in ensuring that this bill, which would have improved the health of black and brown families living near drilling sites, failed.”
SanDiego350 & Mothers Out Front hosted a press conference on Tuesday, August 4, urging the Senator to vote yes that featured labor unions, mayors and local organizations. See the recording.
SanDiego350 is building a movement to prevent the worst impacts of climate change and climate injustice through education and outreach, public policy advocacy, and mobilizing people to take action.
Mothers Out Front builds power as mothers to ensure a livable climate for all children.