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350 Ventura County Calls for Strong Climate Action Plan

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Meetings 2nd Thursday of the Month at Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura, 5654 Ralston St. in Ventura. Meet and Greet 6:30pm Meeting 7pm

John D. Liu speaking in Oxnard: “The Great Work of Our Time – Large-Scale Ecological Restoration”

Sunday, March 10

Doors Open 2:30 pm for mixing and meandering at Community Roots Garden on the church grounds

Program 3:00 – 6:00 pm

North Oxnard Methodist Church

1801 Joliet Place [near Gonzales and Galatin]

Oxnard, CA 93030

John Dennis Liu in his short film “Forest Keep Dryland Working”

The Community Roots Garden organizer is going to give us a tour of the garden at the church starting around 2:30 and we hope Jason and a friend will play some music, so come early!

John D. Liu is touring California to inspire us with his vision for large-scale ecosystem restoration to release the potential of nature and people. He chronicled China’s journey to revitalize the immense Loess Plateau. For the past ten years Liu has worked with colleagues identifying and documenting approaches to restore damaged and destroyed ecosystems around the world.

Liu is a Chinese-American environmental filmmaker and ecological field researcher. His documentaries have aired on CBS, National Geographic, and BBC.His award-winning Hope in a Changing Climate explores the true potential of ecosystem restoration.

He will be on his way from Paradise, CA, future site of the first Ecosystem Restoration Camp in California, and from the site for the first camp in Mexico. He will receive the Eco-Hero Award at the Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara on March 17, 6:30 pm. Buy tickets here – from $12, $24 and $100.

Contact: Ron Whitehurst, ron@rinconvitova.com, cell 805-746-5368
To learn more about Liu’s work see www.ecosystemrestorationcamps.org


Visitors to Rep Brownley’s Offices Ask Her to Co-Sponsor Green New Deal Resolution

A coalition of climate organizations met with staff of Representative Julia Brownley asking for support for the Green New Deal Resolution

On Thurs., Feb 7, a group of 14 people from 350 Ventura County Climate Hub and other environmental groups met with staff at Congresswoman Julia Brownley’s Oxnard office in the Oxnard Transportation Center. We were there to voice our support for the Green New Deal as part of a nationwide action by 350.com to pressure Congress.

Brownley’s staff person, Ashley Orozco, invited comments from all attendees on their reasons for supporting the Green New Deal, and took notes to give to the representative.

Margot Davis requested a townhall meeting in Oxnard or Ventura on the Climate Crisis, and also suggested that Rep. Brownley write a letter to her voters about her position on the GND.

At the meeting, we learned that Rep. Brownley has been named to the Select Committee on the Climate Emergency that same day. This makes our work even more important. Staying in contact with the congresswoman, and reminding her of the importance of the climate crisis to her constituents will be vital during her term.

A note for those interested in visiting the Oxnard office: it’s necessary to set an appointment as the Oxnard office doesn’t have regular staff. Staff came in from her other office to meet with us.

Last week 350 Conejo & San Fernando Valley group visited Rep. Brownley’s Newbury Park office.

Here’s how to contact Rep. Brownley’s California offices to set up appointments:  Phone: (805) 379-1779

Alan Weiner (blue 350 shirt) leads the visit to Rep Brownley’s Newbury Park office to deliver thousands of petitions asking for cosponsorship of GND resolution.

In a media release, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) released the following statement:

“This Committee’s work could mean the difference between a safe and healthy future for our
children and grandchildren and one where our planet, our economy, and our security are under
unrelenting and catastrophic threat. As a long-time champion for protecting our environment,
supporting investments in clean, renewable, and sustainable energy, and preventing anti-
environmental policies, I am honored to be appointed to this important Committee and will be
laser-focused on addressing climate change before it is too late.”

We need to hold her to that.

Rep. Brownley’s local offices:

Thousand Oaks, CA Office     
223 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Suite 220
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360  

Oxnard, CA Office
201 East Fourth Street, Suite 209B  (2nd floor of the Oxnard Transportation Center)
Oxnard, CA 93030


Ventura County Calls on Congress to Enact a Carbon Tax

On Tuesday, December 11, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution calling upon Congress to “expeditiously enact a revenue neutral carbon tax to combat global warming”, and supporting legislation that contains no immunity or exemptions for fossil fuel producers. Supervisors Long and Foy voted against the resolution.

The county becomes the first in Southern California to support the Citizen’s Climate Lobby (CCL) proposal for a federal Carbon Fee and Dividend Program. Fourteen other counties in Northern California, Colorado, Georgia, New Mexico, New York, Utah, and Wisconsin as well as over 100 cities.

As  lead sponsor of the resolution, Supervisor Steve Bennett spoke about how it builds on the momentum of the county’s progress toward local green energy and towards a strong Climate Action Plan. In a slide presentation he clarified features of CCL’s policy proposal:

  • It is the opposite of a ‘command and control’ program. It does not ‘force’ changes. It is a ‘market-based mechanism’ that works to correct a distorted price throughout the economy because fossil fuels are subsidized by taxpayer dollars and do not pay for the pollution they cause.
  • It is more favorable to low-income people than most other carbon pricing plans.
  • It raises prices steadily on whatever depends on fossil fuels, but it is inherently flexible in that it returns all revenue to households so everyone can invest in the best adjustments for them.
  • It provides a long-range window for forecasting and planning for small businesses as well as unleashing American technology innovation and ingenuity.
  • It stimulates the economy with an increase in GDP, creates more jobs, improves air quality, and reduces health care costs.
  • The French carbon tax that the people are protesting does not distribute the revenues to the people like CCL’s plan does.
  • Carbon pricing failed to get public support in France because it became a financial burden on households.
  • The way to prevent that is to return all the revenue to people, and that’s what a revenue neutral carbon tax policy does. The French made an unfair carbon tax design.
  • Fairness to low-income people is a feature of CCL’s policy.

Supervisor Bennett showed polling data that 68 per cent of people in Ventura County want to see a carbon tax on fossil fuel companies. Supervisor John Zaragoza brought to the Board’s attention that HR 7173 was recently introduced in the US House of Representatives by a group of Republicans and Democrats. Entitled the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, it would return a climate dividend payment to the pockets of all Americans.

Supervisor Linda Parks asked that the resolution include that any legislation to put a price on carbon should not exempt current federal Clean Power Plan regulations or give immunity for the damages caused by the burning of fossil fuels. She did not want to appear to be supporting a carbon tax proposal advocated by fossil fuel companies that includes exemptions and permanent immunity. Supervisor Bennett answered the concerns expressed by Supervisor Kelly Long about double taxation and conflict with state policies in that this policy would improve and not conflict with state carbon pricing policies.

In public comment Dr. Richard Elsley, leader of the Conejo Valley Chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby clarified that actually 97.5% of scientists agree that climate change is real and caused by human activity. Kimberly Rivers, Executive Director of Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas commented that while Western States Petroleum advocates a sustainable energy future that appears to mean that they want to sustain pollution of the atmosphere by fossil fuels.

Jan Dietrick, Ventura CCL Chapter Leader asked 15 supporters to stand, saying there are over 500 CCL members throughout the county. She said those interested in learning more about CCL can go to www.citizensclimatelobby.org and that organizations and community leaders who want to endorse the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, can do so at www.energyinnovation.org.


Let’s Make an Interim Climate Emergency Mobilization Plan











Below are the recommendations submitted on October 31, 2018 for the Supervisors and Commissioners Joint Work Session Tuesday, November 6, 1:30-4:30, Supervisors’ Chamber, Admin Building, Ventura County Government Center, 800 Victoria Ave, Ventura 93003. YOU can send YOUR priorities this week to help the Board give direction on writing climate action policies.  You can give a 3 minute public comment at the joint work session.

TO: Ventura County Board of Supervisors <clerkoftheboard@ventura.org>

Ventura County Planning Commissioners <meighan.batinica@ventura.org>

CC  Planner Susan Curtis  <susan.curtis@ventura.org>



  1. Immediately Create a Citizens’ Advisory Committee to Hold Workshops to Create an Interim Climate Emergency Mobilization Plan: Identify obvious interim goals being adopted by model cities and counties across the country that we can work on together before adoption of the General Plan.
  2. Reduce GHG Emissions as Much and as Fast as Possible, i.e. CO2 emissions via electrification of buildings and transportation, as well as short-lived climate pollutants, hydroflourocarbons and methane from all sources, which includes the banning of new oil drilling and a tax on methane emissions commensurate with the social cost of ∼$2400 per ton and ∼$3600 per ton).
  3. Provide Transit-Oriented Very Low-Income Housing, RV Parks and Long-Term Campgrounds and Net Zero Building Codes including experimental permits for functional rather than prescriptive codes aiming for 100% reduction in GHG emissions by or before 2030.
  4. Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled with robust Transportation Demand Management that includes improved public transit, walking and biking, full-cost pricing on the use of the automobile including parking policies that reduce available spaces, as well as higher density, mixed-use, and transit-oriented development  that reduces the need for driving.
  5. Expand Effective Community Engagement toward reducing the most potent GHG reduction goals informed by the research by Project Drawdown that prioritizes a ban on SLCP refrigerant gases and tight regulation of the capture of legacy refrigerants, reduction of food waste, increase in plant based diets, education of girls and access to family planning to prevent unwanted pregnancies, land and marine reforestation, regenerative agriculture by building biological soils, and replacement of all lighting with LEDs.
  6. Create a Microgrid Masterplan to guide installation renewable backup power systems for areas of refuge and emergency facilities  and ultimately 100% reduction of GHG emissions toward a carbon negative community by or before 2030 based on Distributed Energy Resources maximizing battery storage and onshore and offshore wind not at utility scale to balance rooftop and parking lot solar generation.
  7. Create an Ecosystem Restoration Masterplan to prioritize public, private and volunteer investments on degraded lands with nurseries and stormwater capture for aquifer recharge and revegetation, reducing heat islands and creating conditions for normal rainfall.
  8. Assure Participatory Collaboration and Justice in the planning and implementation of the Interim Plan with concerned residents, youth, faith, labor, business, environmental, economic, racial and social justice organizations and officials in the county and its cities.

 Background Justification for Interim Climate Mobilization Plan:

New IPCC report calls for a dramatic reduction in all greenhouse gas emissions to prevent sea level rise and further warming and ocean acidification that will come from earth system feedbacks. In Ventura County swift action may reduce the severity of drought, salt water intrusion, and extreme weather events that increase flooding, heat waves and evaporation on land.

The whole community needs a plan now. We need to be able to work together on the many opportunities that nobody can do alone and we can’t wait more years without having one a plan to bring us together. Science describes an existential climate emergency threatening our city, region, state, nation, civilization, humanity and the natural world. We see a disconnect between the urgency of the problem and the pace of the development of solutions. As we work through the process of General Plan Update in order to have a fully researched and reviewed carbon emissions and flux inventory, goals, targets and programs, we must face that global society only has twelve more years to make changes in emissions and reforestation and carbon capture technology at a scale of change unprecedented in human history Ventura County has the material and moral capacity to respond commensurate with what is required of the rest of the humanity..

Leadership and public outreach. A successful plan starts with being forthright in gathering and communicating needed facts so people can rise to the challenge of this great crisis with active consultation, participation, and in ways that assure benefits for workers and disadvantaged communities. A good basic plan will easily create hundreds of good paying jobs in building and installing local energy generation, redesigning our transportation system and restoring and regenerating our ecosystems.

Transportation contributes over half of our carbon emissions. Therefore it is urgent to help people stop driving gas-fueled vehicles. A robust Transportation Demand Management program is required now with parking policies that reduce available parking spaces and increase parking fees to help fund improved bus routes and passes.

Methane emissions contribute to global warming, damage public health and reduce the yield of ecosystems. In Shindell, et al, 2017, when the physical, economic, climate and air quality consequences are calculated, the social cost of methane  is ∼$2400 per ton and ∼$3600 per ton with 5% and 3% discount rates respectively. These values are ∼100 and 50 times greater than corresponding social costs for carbon dioxide. Existing technology and policy options can provide social benefits that outweigh implementation costs. Renewables compare far better against use of natural gas in electricity generation when incorporating  social costs for methane. Changes in livestock management practices, promoting healthy diets including reduced beef and dairy consumption, and reductions in food waste have the potential to provide large societal benefits (∼$50-150 billion per year)

What Can I Do? Update the County’s Suggested Personal Climate Actions List 

The Ventura County Air Pollution Control District produced a 38 page Climate Change Almanac in 2010 with four pages of suggested individual actions. An up-to-date publication is urgently needed that has a condensed list of actions almost everyone can do. It should be simple to reproduce and share online and just present solutions. Here are some suggestions from various Climate Action Plans around the country for an Interim Climate Mobilization Plan (while we’re waiting for the VC2040 Climate Action Plan):

  • decrease use of fossil fuels by 1% in 2019 and 2% in 2020
  • increase miles traveled by public transit 1% in 2019 and 2% in 2020
  • start a Green Ventura County fund to finance sustainability initiatives
  • incorporate complete street principles in all new roadway & rehab projects
  • pursue car sharing and employer sponsorship of bus passes
  • encourage onsite stormwater retention and infiltration and discourage runoff by restructuring sewer and/or stormwater fee
  • reduce energy consumption 2% per year with mandatory benchmarking ordinance
  • increase within-county renewable energy generation by 5% by 2020
  • create a community microgrid masterplan
  • plan for a park or outdoor recreation area within a 15 minute walk of anyone
  • implement renewable backup power systems for areas of refuge and emergency facilities
  • use Drawdownas a guide, like Marin County is doing, for the science on which solutions have the biggest impact
  • plant 10,000 trees  or  increase percent area of tree cover by 3% by end of 1019
  • increase number of people eating plant-based diets
  • encourage development of food hubs, and increase the processing and distribution of locally, regeneratively produced foods.
  • decrease food waste by 3% per year
  • increase by 3% per year the number of people who can name three things they are doing as part of the Interim Climate Mobilization Plan
  • encourage neighborhoods and localities of NextDoor.com localities to choose several goals that the people decide they can support each other to do or do together and measure increase in number of people who can name a certain number of their goals



Campaign Landing

What Can You Do to Support the Environment in Local Elections Throughout Ventura County?

Make sure the candidates know that environmental issues are important to their constituents.

How? Go to candidate forums and “meet and greet events”,  and ask about the local environmental issues that they will face.

The big issues are oil, water and climate change, but we need to ask candidates about issues they can act on directly.

Following are some issues specific to different cities, followed by a list of issues that affect cities throughout the county.

Ventura Environmental Issues

  • In May of this year, the city of Ventura decided to develop an Energy Plan, a first step toward a Climate Action Plan, following advocacy from iMatter Youth of Ventura. What will you do to make sure that is acted on?
  • What will you do to help mitigate oil spills from the network of oil transmission pipelines under the city – some of which are several decades old? (More info about the risk here)
  • Do you support an end to oil drilling off the Avenue?
  • What will you do to provide access to Ventura River for residents?
  • What is the city’s role in funding fire recovery? What would your plan be to safeguard Ventura from fire suppression when Cal Fire is out of funds?

Oxnard Environmental Issues

  • How do you stand on Port expansion, given the expected increase in pollution which will affect Environmental Justice communities in Oxnard?
  • Do you support adding a rail spur from the port to reduce emissions from trucks?
  • What should the city do regarding the proposed 30-year permit extension for Anterra’s oil wastewater injection well, just outside Oxnard city limits?
  • What are your plans to support Ormond Beach Restoration, and protect endangered species there?
  • How will you work toward cleanup of the Halaco site and removal of old power plants?
  • With Oxnard’s entry into the Clean Power Alliance last year, council will soon be deciding default rates for customers. Will you support setting the default at 100% renewable energy (which lets customers to switch to 50% renewable energy if they want a lower bill)?
  • Oil and gas drilling has been implicated in pollution and aquifer contamination. Do you support proposals for a 2,500 ft setback for oil wells?
  • (MAYOR AND DIST. 5 & 6 CANDIDATES) What is your economic development vision for south Oxnard? What are your priority measures to make south Oxnard a more sustainable community in terms of energy, transportation, water, green buildings, public health, open space and solid waste?

Camarillo Environmental Issues

  • Are you concerned about plans to put in 79 new oil wells adjacent to the Camarillo airport?
  • With Camarillo’s entry into the Clean Power Alliance last year, council will soon be deciding default rates for customers. Will you support setting the default at 100% renewable energy (which lets customers to switch to 50% renewable energy if they want a lower bill)?

Santa Paula and Fillmore Environmental Issues

  • How do you balance the need for economic development with environmental considerations?
  • Housing developments are currently being built in in the floodplain of the Santa Clara River; do you believe there should be a review of city planning rules in the face of the increase in catastrophic weather events?
  • How should the city address local habitat destruction which is leading to animal incursions in town?
  • Given the 2014 explosion at Santa Clara Waste Water, what considerations would you have for that company, now under new management, in seeking a new permit to run their waste through our Advanced Water Purification Facility?

Issues affecting cities throughout Ventura County


  • Ventura County is updating its general plan, which will govern land use in the unincorporated areas through 2040. What role do cities have in the policy development, permitting of all types of development in the county jurisdiction? Should cities weigh in – why or why not?
  • Air sheds, surface waters and groundwater basins generally don’t respect city/county boundaries – what role does a city have in air & water quality issues that may impact air and water for residents in the city, but where the planning and policy may be in county jurisdiction?
  • Do you think the city has a role in urging the county to end antiquated Conditional Use Permits that allow oil drilling in perpetuity for some permits?


  • How will you work with your city to support increased building heights to help prevent urban sprawl?
  • Do you support construction and zoning changes to make new and existing structures more resistant to severe weather incidents like flood, drought, mudslides?
  • What is the role of the city in preserving habitat and providing wildlife corridors for animals?


  • What are your ideas about ways our city should begin to develop Community Microgrids (which localize energy generation and build resilience during natural disasters)?
  • Do you support stopping construction of the fourth high powered transmission line from Santa Clarita to Moorpark Sub-station?
  • Do you support a ban on fracking, cyclic steam injection, and new oil wells within your city?
  • How should the city support expanded local use of solar and other renewable energy?


  • How would you address compliance with state law SB743 to set goals for reducing VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled)?
  • What would you do to safeguard agriculture and aquifers from the effects of drilling?
  • What would you do to address the issue of plastics in our waste stream?


  • What are your opinions on buffer zones for pesticides?
  • How would you address pesticide’s effects on ag workers, school children, city residents, pollinators and ocean pollution?
  • Do you support the city’s transition to use of an integrated pest management program, moving as quickly as possible to stop use of toxic pesticides?


  • What is a city council’s responsibility for water supply issues?
  • What is the city’s role in water conservation and recycling?


  • Do you support improvements in Mass Transit to electrify and expand options?


  • What should the city do to improve and maintain our parks?


  • What responsibilities does a city council have regarding wildfire response and prevention?


  • Are you willing to speak out at the County and State level in support of green policies?


Global Issues

  • Keep carbon in the ground; no new oil drilling, ban fracking and cyclic steam injection
  • Help build a new, more equitable low-carbon economy
  • Pressure governments into limiting emissions
  • Draw down CO2 through biological carbon sequestration
  • Incentivize local regenerative agriculture on small holdings, food security, elimination of food waste and movement to plant-based diets.
  • Restore small water cycles, eliminate heat islands, reverse desertification, restore rainforests,
  • Reduce food waste
  • Increase consumption of plant-based diets
  • Access to family planning
  • Sea Level Rise


Be Informed – Contested Elections Nov. 6

Ventura County Community College District Board Elections – Areas 1, 2, 5

Camarillo Elections – City Council

Fillmore Elections – City Council

Ojai Elections –  Mayor, City Council

Oxnard Elections – Mayor, District 1, 2, 5, 6,

Moorpark Elections – Mayor, City Council

Port Hueneme Elections – City Council

Santa Paula Elections –  City Council

Simi Valley Elections – Mayor, City Council

Thousand Oaks Elections – City Council

Ventura Elections – District 1, 4, 5, 6

Bell Canyon Community Srvs Dist Director

Channel Isl Beach Community Srvs Dist Director

Conejo Recreation & Park District Director

Pleasant Valley Rec & Park District Director

Rancho Simi Rec & Park District Director

Camrosa Water District, Div 2 Director

Casitas Muni Water Dist, Div 4 Director

Oxnard Harbor Commissioner

Issue list developed by 350 Ventura County Climate Hub

with input from local environmental groups and leaders.