Senator Ben Allen (D – Santa Monica) has been named co-chair of the California Environmental Legislative Caucus for the 2017-18 legislative session. He and Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay) were chosen by their peers to lead the caucus, which provides a forum for legislators to discuss and coordinate their actions on environmental challenges facing the state. Currently, 51 Senators and Assemblymembers are members of the caucus.
The Environmental Caucus was founded in 2005 by then-Senator Sheila Kuehl and then-Assemblymember Fran Pavley. The caucus has been involved in key issues such as fighting state park closures, addressing hazardous waste impacts on disadvantaged communities, shaping the cap and trade program, and expanding the use of renewable energy.
“The Environmental Caucus is fiercely committed to maintaining our state’s national and global leadership on climate change and the environment. We are entering a crucial time as we face potentially disastrous rollbacks of federal environmental protections. The caucus will be organized and ready to take whatever actions we can to address threats to our air, water, coastline, wildlife, parks and natural resources,” said Allen.
Senator Allen has been a leader on a variety of environmental causes since his election to the Senate in 2014. He authored a landmark law to stop mercury poisoning of rivers and streams by a harmful form of mining, coauthored measures to strengthen coastal protections in the aftermath of the 2015 oil spill at Refugio State Beach, and authored new regulations on underground gas storage fields in response to the devastating gas leak at Aliso Canyon. He also serves on the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee, which reviews all major environmental legislation in the state Senate.