California Democrats’ public relations push to pass sweeping climate change legislation has enlisted businesses, religious authorities - and now a healthy dose of celebrity.
Halle Berry met with lawmakers on Monday to promote Senate Bill 350, which would compel California to slash its gas use by half, tighten energy efficiency and derive half its electricity from renewable sources. Among those she met with were moderate Democrats whom the oil industry has targeted in an effort to scuttle the bill.
“She’s got a young daughter, she’s concerned about climate change and about having safe air,” said Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, who met with Berry in his office and said he aired his concerns about the bill’s impact on low-income communities.
“I made her more aware of some of the issues and told her I would definitely give it due consideration,” Cooper said, adding he had not made a decision about how to vote.
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Sen. Isadore Hall, D-Compton, said Berry is an environmental advocate with a “strong voice” and a “voice that echoes things that are important.” He said she was communicating to members in the Assembly that “we need to make sure we do all that we can to reduce carbon emissions.”
Hall said there is “a whole cache of leaders with a voice” who will be coming to the Capitol in the coming days to lobby for the bill. “I think there will be folks from all corners of California,” including “other folks from the (entertainment) industry,” he said.