From oil refineries to solar plants, unions bend California climate change policies in their favor

No contour of California’s vast landscape inspires such passionate devotion as its coastline, so state lawmakers recoiled when President Trump announced in April that he wanted to expand offshore drilling. The outrage was channeled into a proposal for preventing any new infrastructure along the water, pipelines or otherwise, for additional oil production.

But the day before a key Sacramento committee hearing this summer, Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) received some bad news about her legislation — it was opposed by a politically powerful labor group whose members’ paychecks depend on the steady flow of oil.

In a letter to lawmakers, the top lobbyist for the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California said he feared harming projects that “maintain and create new employment opportunities.” The legislation, Senate Bill 188, stalled the following day, an unceremonious defeat for a proposal announced with much fanfare months earlier.

“I was startled,” said Jackson, who represents a region with a painful history of oil spills but said she recognizes the jobs that fossil fuels provide. “I don’t think people say, ‘I love oil so much.’ It’s, ‘I have to feed my family.’”

Read the entire article at LAtimes.