No. 17: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

17. Kip Lipper

Kip Lipper, an environmental expert who wields enormous influence in the Capitol, is the energy and environment adviser to Senate Leader Kevin de León. Lipper’s fingerprints are on every major environmental bill originating in the Senate or coming through it – and that includes the biggest environmental bill of the year, the extension of the state’s cap-and-trade program until 2030. He does myriad chores, including brokering agreements and analyzing legislation, from his tiny, messy office at the rear of the Senate executive suite. When the clock is ticking, that tiny office is jammed with people representing a multitude of interests. Whether it’s greenhouse gases, air quality, land-use issues or water cleanliness and conservation – environmental legislation needs Lipper’s stamp of approval. In the Capitol, that process is referred to as getting “Lipperized.” In addition to being a long-time aide to former Sen. Byron Sher, a deal-cutting icon to environmentalists, Lipper was instrumental in crafting the California Clean Air Act and Safe Drinking Water Act. And – small world – Donna Lucas (No. 31) is his sister.

Updated Aug. 29, 2017

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