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I support the State Lands Commission's ongoing work to update its Environmental Justice Policy to improve the protection and management of lands and resources in California. I urge the Commission to adopt and implement the updated EJ policy to promote a more sustainable and equitable future for disadvantaged communities across California.
Implementation of the updated EJ policy will help create a healthier and more equitable California. I support the policy because it seeks to improve public participation, helps reduce impacts of oil and gas operations, acknowledges ancestral homelands of Native Americans, and commits to learning from and engaging with disadvantaged communities.
Transition off Fossil Fuels. The EJ policy supports cleaner and more sustainable industry to transition California away from fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Families live and work near refineries, power plants, oil drilling and fracking sites, rail yards and freight facilities, polluting factories, and freeways. Regulating oil and gas operations and choosing cleaner, renewable energy sources have a significant impact on global emissions and overall community health.
Accountability. Environmental justice is defined as the fair treatment of people of all races, cultures, and incomes with respect to the enforcement of environmental laws. However, disadvantaged communities are often more heavily burdened with environmental stressors, such as pollution, and toxic emissions. The Commission will take responsibility for increasing benefits to marginalized communities and reducing disproportionately adverse impacts.
Increasing Equity and Inclusion. As one of the largest landowners in the state, the Commission manages 4 million acres of state lands, issues leases for oil and gas development, and is responsible for the protection of coastal waters and public access. The EJ Policy promotes increased access for all communities, including parks and coastal access. Implementation of the EJ Policy would ensure disadvantaged communities are involved in and aware of the Commission's work to create better outcomes for all.
California welcomes your leadership in creating solutions for environmental justice communities.
Thank you for your consideration.