In 2017, Ben became co-chair of the legislature’s environmental Caucus. The caucus is comprised of more than 50 Senators and Assemblymembers who are fighting efforts at the federal level to roll back important clean air, water and resource protection laws.
In response to proposals at the federal level to sell portions of our National Parks, or lease public lands for mineral extraction or coastal drilling, Ben introduced the Public Lands Protection Act, SB 50. This measure would effectively block any such sale or lease of federal public lands in California by granting the State Lands Commission first right of refusal on these properties. View the press conference onFacebook.
In his first year in the Senate, Ben authored landmark legislation, SB 637, that for the first time imposed regulations on a harmful form of mining called suction dredging that has caused toxic mercury pollution of rivers and streams for decades. This legislation was a top priority for the environmental community.
Ben has been a leader on policies that tackle one of the most challenging problems of our time, climate change. In 2017, he authored a package of bills that address climate change on a number of fronts.
He also coauthored SB 350 in 2015, the measure that put in place the policy that California requires 50% of energy to be from renewable sources by 2030.
Ben is leading the push to reform the state’s Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) program. His legislation, SB 249, will establish greater protections for land and habitat areas where OHV recreation takes place.
Ben grew up hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains, and remains an avid hiker today. He serves on the board of directors for the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy where he is helping to preserve and expand parks and open space in the mountains.
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