California has some of America’s most aggressive climate change policies. But those policies are facing fierce opposition – not from big business or the oil and gas sector – but from the state’s Latino community.
Over the past two years, California’s Latino leaders have filed lawsuits that aim to halt several climate-focused regulations due to their negative effect on low- and middle-income Californians. Those same leaders are also calling out the Sierra Club and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for their support of regulations that are increasing the cost of energy, transportation, and housing in California, which has the highest poverty rate in America.
The Latino backlash against California’s climate policies — which has largely been ignored by state and national media outlets — exposes the growing chasm between the state’s powerful bureaucracy, which is closely aligned with California’s entrenched environmental groups, and the Latino and demographic realities of America’s most-populous state. It also presages a potential clash at the national level if federal policymakers attempt to implement California’s stringent climate measures throughout the rest of the country.