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Measure P Will Protect Santa Barbara County from Extreme Oil

Here in Santa Barbara County we have co-existed with the oil industry for a long time and if Measure P passes in November, will continue to do so. The initiative exempts all current oil operations and so does not affect any current oil jobs or revenue. It also doesn’t limit future oil wells using conventional techniques.

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In Memoriam: Joan Crowder

Long before she made a name for herself as a cultural writer for the Santa Barbara News-Press, Joan Crowder was a volunteer editor of the Santa Barbara Survival Times, a fledgling monthly magazine published by CEC in the aftermath of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill.

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E.P.A. Announces New Proposed Carbon Pollution Regulations

Today, with the announcement of new carbon regulations, the Obama administration is using authority granted to the E.P.A. by the Clean Air Act to tackle the U.S.’s largest source of carbon pollution: over 600 coal-burning power plants. The proposed regulations would seek to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from these power plants 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

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Another successful Earth Day! Thank you.

We are proud to report 37,364 people attended Santa Barbara Earth Day this year! It's beyond inspiring to see so many people gather to share information, participate in community building, and celebrate this year’s theme “Local Roots,” which encouraged meaningful actions to help make a global impact. The festival was organized around the CEC’s five initiatives: Drive Less, Choose Electric, Go Solar, Ditch Plastic, and Eat Local.

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Climate Solutions for a Better World: Connecting the Dots

  • February 24, 2014
On Thursday, February 13th, over 100 business leaders, nonprofit executives and 1% for the Planet members convened at Citrix in Goleta, Ca. for Connect the Dots, a conference that highlighted steps being taken by companies, NGOs and individuals to build resilient communities in an era of unprecedented climate change.
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Connecting the Dots: Climate Change, Drought, and a Wildfire Film Series

For several decades now, scientists have anticipated that climate change would likely trigger increasingly severe droughts, especially in places like semi-arid Southern California. The state is, of course, in the midst of a merciless drought, and last Friday, state officials announced that for the first time in its 54-year history the State Water Project would not deliver water to 29 local water agencies serving 25 million residents and nearly 750,000 acres of farmland.

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CEC welcomes new Board members

The Community Environmental Council is pleased to announce the addition of four new Board members, including Laura Burton Capps, Christopher E. Hahn, Karl L. Hutterer, and John H. Steed, to the organization’s Board of Directors.

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A concluding word on the Santa Maria Energy Project

  • December 12, 2013

In the past few weeks, much has been written about the Board of Supervisors' decision to approve the Santa Maria Energy Oil and Gas Project, and to allow it to emit at least 10,000 tons of greenhouse gases (GHGs) annually, despite the objections of numerous organizations and individuals who either asked the Board to deny the Project or require complete mitigation (to zero) of its GHG emissions.  For many of those advocates, including the Environmental Defense Center, Community Environmental Council, Get Oil Out!, Los Padres Sierra Club, Santa Barbara County Action Network and Santa Ynez Valley Alliance, the Board's action was at least an improvement over the decision of its Planning Commission, which would have allowed the Project to increase its emissions more than five-fold.  Others have complained that the Board "went too far," and several points of now-contentious discussion have emerged.  On behalf of the above groups who appealed this Project to the Board, I would like to correct and/or clarify some misconceptions.

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Infographic: CEC’s results in 2013

The Community Environmental Council (CEC) is a small and dedicated non-profit with a very big mission: ending the Santa Barbara region’s dependence on fossil fuels in one generation. It's been a busy year for CEC. After all, moving our region off fossil fuels is no small task.
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Students are part of the plastic-reduction solution

“I want to do something about all the plastic waste. I want to be an environmental scientist.” Those words of wisdom and hope came from a seventh-grade girl at La Cumbre Junior High earlier this month. The Community Environmental Council’s (CEC) Rethink the Drink staff visited the school and spoke to over 300 students about the importance of reducing our dependence on single-use plastic products.
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Fifteen Hours with Al Gore

Katie Davis is a member of the CEC Partnership Council, as well as a trained presenter with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project. Below she tells the story of her experience training with Al Gore. 

Katie will be presenting her Climate Reality presentation at 7 pm on Thursday, February 28 at the Santa Barbara Public Library.

Five years since he won an Academy Award for An Inconvenient Truth and a Nobel Prize for efforts to educate the world about global warming, what’s happened to Al Gore’s presentation and, indeed, actions to address the causes of climate change?

Along with 1,000 other Climate Leaders from 50 countries, I recently went through training in San Francisco on how to give the latest version of his presentation on climate change. The training included one 15-hour-marathon day with Al Gore that went from 8 am to 11 pm.

The latest incarnation of Gore’s presentation, entitled Climate Reality, is heavy on weather. What’s changed in the last five years is the willingness of scientists to point to the freaky storms, record heat waves, devastating droughts, super floods and massive fires and say definitively – yep, that’s us. Climate scientists used to be careful not to blame any one extreme weather event on global warming. But that’s changing. When we break 362 all-time high temperature records in the U.S. and no cold records - as we did in 2012 - it’s pretty clear we’re living with climate change right now.

Or as Gore put it, "It's like a nature hike through the Book of Revelation."

While global emissions have continued to rise, there are some signs of hope.  Renewable energy production has exceeded projections nationally, and California is ahead of the trend.  In 2011, 20% of California’s energy use was renewable.

Santa Barbara, with its remarkable record of environmental leadership and abundant sun, wind and waves, could play a leading role in showing the world it’s really possible to kick the fossil fuel habit.

Question is – are we up for the challenge?

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