There’s the popular saying, “As California goes, so goes the nation.”
From social change to political change to tackling climate change, California has a long history of setting industry-wide standards and charting the course for broader American action.
If it were its own nation, California would be the world’s fifth-largest economy (and growing), sandwiched ahead of India and just behind Germany. California’s clean energy and pollution reduction commitments really matter—not just to the American economy, but across the globe. And as a state that bears the brunt of some of the worst climate impacts, Californians have good reason to expect and demand climate leadership.
But right now Californians (and most other Americans) are unknowingly bankrolling gas and electric companies’ fights against climate action.
That’s because utility companies have been quietly sneaking the costs of their nefarious lobbying efforts into their customers’ monthly bills. They then use these funds to gain political influence, speak out against critical clean air, climate, and public health rules, and pay for membership dues to trade associations that spend millions on anti-climate lobbying efforts. And a bipartisan majority of Americans agree that their power bills shouldn’t be funding utility lobbying.