The Environment

Senator Feinstein has a long history as a champion for the environment and a staunch supporter of programs to fight global warming.

Battling global warming

  • Increasing fuel economy. In 2007, a bill authored by Senators Feinstein, Snowe, Inouye and Stevens was signed into law to increase average fuel economy standards for America’s fleet of vehicles by at least 10 miles per gallon over 10 years by 2020, the largest increase in fuel efficiency in more than two decades. Because of this bill, average fleet fuel economy will climb to over 50 miles per gallon in the next two decades.

Protecting California’s environment

  • California Desert Protection Act. In 1994, passed a bill to protect more than 7 million acres of pristine California desert—the largest such designation in the history of the continental United States—and established the Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks and the East Mojave Natural Preserve. In 2016, President Obama, at Senator Feinstein’s request, used his authority under the Antiquities Act to designate three new national monuments in the California desert: Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow and Castle Mountains. The designations protect nearly 1.8 million acres of the California desert.

  • Lake Tahoe Restoration Act. In 2000, a Feinstein bill was enacted to authorize $300 million in federal funds over 10 years to match investments by California and Nevada and local authorities and help reverse the environmental emergency threatening the Lake Tahoe Basin.

  • Headwaters Forest Agreement. In 1999 Senator Feinstein helped secure $250 million in federal funds (a match for state funding) to purchase the 7,500-acre Headwaters Forest, the largest privately held stand of uncut old-growth redwoods. The agreement also helped preserve 12 additional groves of ancient redwood trees.

  • National Parks and Recreation. In 2005, a Feinstein bill added 4,500 acres of pristine natural land to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and 25,500 acres to the Redwood National Park in Del Norte County.

  • Northern California Wilderness. In 2006, Feinstein legislation permanently protected almost 300,000 acres and preserves over 21 miles of the Black Butte River in Northern California.

  • San Francisco Bay Salt Ponds Restoration. Helped negotiate in 2003 the purchase of 16,500 acres of salt ponds from Cargill along the San Francisco Bay and Napa River—the largest such wetlands restoration project in California history—through an unprecedented public-private partnership.

  • Otay Mountain Wilderness Act. Preserved 18,500 acres of the Otay Mountain region in a 1999 bill. The mountain area, located in eastern San Diego County, is home to 20 sensitive plant and animal species.

  • Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Added nearly 1,300 acres of undeveloped land in Pacifica, Marin County and San Francisco to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in 2000.

Read more about Senator Feinstein's work to restore Lake Tahoe here, and how she's fighting to protect California's environment here.