Target: California Governor Jerry Brown
Goal: Reform state environmental permitting system that favors oil and gas over renewable energy.
Although California leads the nation in homes with solar power panels, building large-scale solar projects is exceedingly difficult. The state’s environmental permitting system still prioritizes oil and natural gas by making it much easier to obtain the required documents.
Getting a permit for a solar power plant is a complex and time-consuming process. Applicants must provide extensive documentation and proof of environmental impact. Even though solar is a far more sustainable source of energy than fossil fuel, solar power projects have to provide a larger amount of proof that they will not harm wildlife. These requirements include evidence that no wildlife are in the area five years after the most recent sighting.
By contrast, the permit form to build a natural gas power plant is one page long. Applicants only need to tick a box in order to prove that there is no wildlife near the proposed drilling sites, and the California Division of Oil & Gas says that there is essentially no real environmental impact requirement.
This discrepancy exists despite the fact that fossil fuels pose a real threat to local wildlife and the health of the planet as a whole. According to the Bureau of Land Management, between 500,000 to 1 million birds are killed by oil and gas power plants.
By signing this petition, you will urge Governor Jerry Brown to reform California’s environmental permitting system. It is past time to take specific and practical steps that encourage the development of renewable energy sources.
Dear Governor Brown,
I urge you to introduce legislation to reform California’s environmental permitting system.
California’s permitting system favors the interests of oil companies over the welfare of our environment. While applicants for solar power plants need to jump through a seemingly endless series of hoops, those who want to frack and burn only need to fill out a one page form.
It should not be easier to burn fossil fuels than to get energy powered by the sun. The current system ensures that renewable energy will not get the traction it needs to truly transform our economy and society.
It is time for our concern for the planet to take the form of tangible change. Please change California’s environmental permitting system to reflect the values of your people and the needs of our planet. If the largest state in the union takes the lead, it will represent a major step toward building a more sustainable future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Bureau of Land Management