Be an advocate for strong climate language

You can help us weigh in NOW. The Board of Supervisors will take up this item on Aug. 6.

Working for the health of the planet is CFROG's core mission and we believe the effects of climate change will impact Ventura County profoundly — from the wildfires which have raged out of control to coastal infrastructure now threatened by sea-level rise.

That's why it is critical that Ventura County gets its climate policies right in the General Plan Update, now newly released. Please read the Conservation and Open Space Element as well as Appendix B: Climate Change to stay up to date.

Submit comments to your supervisor here.

You can find CROG's official comment letter here, drafted with the help of the prestigious environmental law firm, Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, LLP. An area of critical importance is detailed on page 23. The draft plan, as currently written, fails to meet requirements for streamlined CEQA review. For an explanation, go here.

Dr. Steven Colome, a nationally recognized air quality expert who sits on CFROG's advisory board, also compiled comments for CFROG on the Preliminary Public Review Draft of the 2040 General Plan. Please go here to review.

Talking points you can use:

• It is absolutely clear and indisputable that climate change is here, it is real and its effects are already being felt throughout our county. This General Plan Update is our biggest chance to set policy that will really be actionable against climate change.

• While its goals are laudable, the draft update fails to provide enough emissions reduction to meet, or even make a sizable dent, toward the state-mandated climate goals.

• We need to do better. The Climate Action Plan (CAP) is seriously incomplete and lacks the technical and scientific input needed for a meaningful CAP. We are calling for a sense of urgency and an “all-hands-on-deck” effort to get it right. The county should contract immediately with a team like those employed by the city and county of Los Angeles in order to produce a robust plan capable of meeting the greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reduction goals. At the same time, we are working to strengthen individual policies in the General Plan that reduce emissions that harm people and the planet.

The Los Angeles Sustainability Plan, aimed at meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, has clear and bold goals: “By eliminating fossil fuel production in the county, including drilling, production and refining, the county will protect its residents from harmful local pollution that inequitably burdens low-income communities and communities of color.” And this comes from the second largest oil-producing county in California. We need a similar goal for Ventura County.

• Another goal from the LA Plan: “Collaborate with DOGGR and unincorporated communities and affected cities to develop a sunset strategy for all oil and gas operations that prioritizes disadvantaged communities.” Ventura County needs to do the same.

• Climate change is caused by fossil fuel production and consumption. The CAP addresses the consumption side by encouraging electric fuel vehicles and clean power for homes and businesses. It does not address the production side at all. Ventura County is the third largest oil and gas producing county in California. As such, we must do our part to reduce oil production through thoughtful, rigorous policy to phase out production.

• This CAP will set the policies that will drive land use decisions and projects that affecting GHG emissions for the next 20 years. The planet depends on each county, municipality and country to do this right.

• For Ojai residents: The 2040 General Plan must include a strong defense of the five-pound air emissions limit for the Ojai Valley. All projects subject to CEQA review must include an evaluation of the totality of air emissions in order to understand and mitigate the impacts to local air quality.