San Bernardino Environmental Leaders, Families Outraged “Chevron Cheryl” Brown’s Environmental Track Record Ranked Among Worst In Nation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 18, 2016

CONTACT:

Penny Newman, 951-360-8451

Strela Cervas, 213-284-4923

James Johnson, 213-494-8688

San Bernardino Environmental Leaders, Families Outraged “Chevron Cheryl” Brown’s Environmental Track Record Ranked Among Worst In Nation

“Chevron Cheryl” Sullies California’s Perfect Record; Brown is 1st Ever-California Official Named to League of Conservation Voters’ “Dirty Dozen in the States list”

San Bernardino, CA — San Bernardino environmental leaders, community leaders, workers and parents expressed outrage today that Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown has amassed one of the most anti-environmental records of any state candidate in the nation. On Tuesday, the League of Conservation Voters announced Brown was the first-ever California official named to its “Dirty Dozen in the States” list, based on her record of selling out her constituents to big oil companies and massive polluters.  

“It’s no coincidence San Bernardino residents are breathing some of the nation’s dirtiest air because we are being represented by a candidate with one of the nation’s grimiest environmental records,” said Penny Newman, Executive Director of Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, based in Cheryl Brown’s district.  “Selling out the people of her district to Big Oil is the reason she earned the name ‘Chevron Cheryl.’”

The event took place at the Ruben Campos Community Center, overlooking the B.N.S.F Railyard which has been identified to pose an extreme risk of cancer and is a primary reason San Bernardino children have a 47% rate of asthma.  Ericka Flores, who lives in the plume of pollution that clouds the neighborhoods near the railyard said, “it’s infuriating to know Chevron Cheryl’s campaign is being pumped up by dirty Big Oil money while our kids are choking on dirty air.  We need a representative in Sacramento who will stand up to the dirty dollars and stand with the people of San Bernardino so our kids can grow up healthy.”   

As the first-ever California official to make the list, “Chevron Cheryl” has set a new record as a politician with the dirtiest ties to Big Polluters.  The announcement by the League of Conservation Voters comes as Brown has been challenged to defend her environmental record in a heated general election race.  At a candidate forum last week, Brown was booed when she denied her million-dollar ties to Chevron.  But, as the Press- Enterprise reported, Chevron has given more than $1 million to a committee backing her re-election.

In naming Brown to the “Dirty Dozen in the States” list, the League of Conservation Voters cited these reasons:

  •      Chevron is spending a mind-blowing $1 million to help re-elect Cheryl Brown, earning her the moniker “Chevron Cheryl.”
  •      In addition, Cheryl Brown has accepted huge direct campaign contributions from Big Oil including BP, ExxonMobil, Occidental Petroleum, Tesero, and Valero.
  •      Brown voted against a bill that would have prevented oil companies from cheating customers by manipulating the price of a gallon of gas.
  •      Brown not only opposed expanding California’s landmark climate and clean energy law, but she tried to help Big Oil dodge complying with the law.
  •      Brown is key player in the “Oil Caucus,” a group of oil-funded Democrats who work against reducing California’s dependence on oil.
  •      Brown voted for MORE fracking and FEWER regulations on fracking.

“The Inland Empire has some of the dirtiest air in the country. Yet time and again Cheryl Brown has sided with Chevron and Big Oil, who fuel her campaign, rather than act to protect the health of her constituents,” said California League of Conservation Voters Political Director James Johnson. “Cheryl Brown’s terrible record of siding with special interests against her constituents made her an obvious choice for inclusion to the ‘Dirty Dozen in the States’ list. It’s no wonder why Chevron is spending $1 million to keep her in office.”

“It’s not surprising that Cheryl Brown would make the Dirty Dozen list. She represents a district with the highest particulate pollution and the highest levels of ozone or smog in the state, but has been consistently absent on important votes to address this, or she votes against them,” said Penny Newman, Executive Director of Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, based in Cheryl Brown’s district. “Most recently, a bill (SB 1387) would have added two environmental justice seats to the AQMD Board that represent the most heavily impacted communities in the South Coast. Cheryl Brown didn’t even bother to vote, which shows how she sides with Big Oil over the health of her constituents.”

“It’s disappointing that Cheryl Brown would accept campaign contributions from multiple Big Oil corporations that have notoriously horrendous records for environmental violations, especially among environmental justice communities,” said Strela Cervas, Co-Director of California Environmental Justice Alliance Action. “We need leaders who do not take money from the corporations that are killing our communities. We need leaders who put the health of their constituents before Big Oil and who work in partnership with communities of color to protect those who are most vulnerable to climate change and overburdened by pollution.”

CLCV, CCAEJ Action and CEJA Action join a growing coalition of environmental and environmental justice groups, public health organizations, workers, consumer advocates, and local leaders working to expose Cheryl Brown’s terrible track record on protecting public health and her disturbing relationship with Big Oil. More information can be found at www.chevroncheryl.com.

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California Environmental Justice Alliance Action (CEJA Action) builds the political power of communities of color to advance environmentally and socially just policies in California. CEJA Action accomplishes this by engaging voters in communities of color, organizing and training grassroots leaders to engage in civic and electoral politics, and advocacy to advance critical policies that will improve the health and quality of life in communities of color. CEJA Action believes California’s communities of color are a powerful force for equitable environmental policies and a more participatory, inclusive democracy. www.ceja-action.org

Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice Action (CCAEJ Action) works to bring the voice of disenfranchised poor communities of color in Riverside and San Bernardino counties into the public debate and voting process, and influence decisions on policies that promote healthy environments, equitable decision making and a sustainable future. www.ccaejaction.org

California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) is the nation’s oldest grassroots environmental political action organization. CLCV uses sophisticated campaign tools to help elect pro-environment officials and to hold them accountable for passing legislation to protect health, communities and the environment. CLCV publishes the annual California Environmental Scorecard, which rates the actions of every state legislator and the governor on the state’s environmental priorities each legislative year. For more information about CLCV, visit www.ecovote.org.

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