California’s ‘Climate Superfund’ bill gets shelved in Senate

By Wes Venteicher | 05/24/2024 06:44 AM EDT

California state Sen. Caroline Menjivar pulled her bill aimed at making “polluters pay” from a vote but could call it up later.

SACRAMENTO, California — The author of a California proposal to require major fossil fuel producers to pay for their historic carbon emissions parked it in the state Senate Wednesday night, diminishing its prospects for passage.

State Sen. Caroline Menjivar said her S.B. 1497, aimed at making “polluters pay” for climate change, may still be called up for a vote after Friday’s deadline to move bills out of their houses of origin given its designation as an urgency measure. That designation also means it would require a two-thirds majority vote.

The proposal is one of the most aggressive in a suite of California bills targeting the oil industry as Gov. Gavin Newsom leads a charge against Big Oil that includes potentially capping the industry’s profits and suing the biggest companies for climate damages. Menjivar’s bill is one of at least five efforts in Democratic statehouses around the country aimed at applying a Superfund-like model to companies responsible for greenhouse gas emissions.


The bill cleared three committees before Menjivar designated it inactive on Wednesday.