Governor Gray Davis - Digital Library
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Governor Gray Davis is dedicated to ensuring the our air is more breathable, our water more drinkable, and our lands are better protected.

First in the nation on global warming

Gray Davis signed America's first law to substantively address the greatest environmental test of the 21st century -- global warming. The historic law will protect us from harmful greenhouse gases while preserving consumer choice.

The four largest environmental bonds ever

Propositions 12, 13, 40 and 50 have dedicated $10.11 billion to parks, open space, agricultural lands, water projects, and coastal protection -- more than four times the amount of bond funds committed to the environment in 40 years.

Protecting Our Air

  • Governor Davis signed Protect California Air Act of 2003 (SB 288, Sher) to protect California from a Bush Administration roll-back of federal New Source Review (NSR) requirements. He also signed a package of air quality bills in September 2003 to clean up Central Valley air, eliminate agriculture’s exemption from air quality regulations, and encourage biomass facilities to burn more agricultural wastes.
  • The Governor extended Smog Check II requirements to the Bay Area so that every urban area in California is following the same tough standards. This law will eliminate 26 tons of pollution per day in California and help the Central Valley meet federal clean air standards.

The Governor also:

  • Funded the greatest investment in air quality measures in CA history.
  • Reduced diesel emissions with new clean fuel school buses.
  • Cut pollution with incentives for zero emission vehicles and is facilitating the development of hydrogen-powered cars through fuel-cell technology.

Protecting our Water

  • Signed the toughest water quality enforcement law in the nation, requiring mandatory penalties for pollution.
  • Negotiated with the US Interior Dept. to address water supply, water quality, and ecosystem restoration through the CALFED program -- the nation's most comprehensive water management system.
  • Issued an Executive Order banning MTBE January , 2004.
  • Initiated a process to clean up sources of perchlorate, a rocket-fuel component and contaminant, on the state’s current and former military sites.

Coastal Protection/ Offshore Oil Drilling

  • The Governor has fought tooth and nail to prevent new oil drilling. He has pursued all legal remedies to prevent new oil and gas leasing off our coast.
  • Funded $500 million for the State Coastal Conservancy to purchase 20,000 acres of coastal lands -- more than any other administration ever.
  • He funded the nation's first comprehensive program to clean-up coastal pollution and reduce beach closures.

Protecting our Parks

  • The Governor sought and obtained record funding for CA's parks.
  • The Governor acquired more than 8,000 acres of urban park land -- more than any other Administration in California history.
  • Provided $113 million in loans and grants to build and improve boating facilities, including new boat launching facilities in urban areas.

Promoting Green Energy Policies

  • The Governor established a statewide Renewables Portfolio Standard of 20% by 2017. It's the strongest renewable portfolio standard in America.
  • Today, non-hydro renewable energy makes up a greater percentage of CA’s power supply than it does in any other state in the nation.
  • Signed into law a tax credit for the purchase of solar energy systems.
  • Signed into law an $850-million conservation program, the largest in CA history.

Environmental Health

  • Governor Davis signed the first environmental justice law in the nation, to guard against disproportionate health impacts on vulnerable communities.
  • He has signed some of the toughest environmental health standards in the nation, including standards for toxic mold, lead, arsenic, Chromium 6, and Perchlorate. Recently, he signed legislation banning two types of PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) -- the first such law in the nation.

Protecting our land

GGD led the acquisition and preservation of more than 300,000 acres of urban park land, habitat open space and agricultural land including:
  • 16,600 acres of San Francisco Bay wetlands setting the stage for the largest wetlands restoration on the West Coast.
  • A $495-million acquisition agreement for the "Headwaters" forest -- saving 7,500 acres of old-growth coastal redwoods.
  • A $100-million Natural Heritage Tax Credit, the largest of its kind in America.

Environmental Education

Governor Gray Davis signed a package of environmental legislation that incorporates the teaching of standard environmental principles into California school classrooms.

AB 1548  requires all state agencies with environmental education programs to coordinate with the Office of Education and the Environment, and will align state agency environment-based education programs with state approved education content standards, improving state agency efficiency and the effective use of programs and resources.