SACRAMENTO (June 16, 2014) – The State Budget passed by the Legislature last night and sent to Governor Brown for the first time puts carbon pollution proceeds collected under California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) to work to combat climate change and improve the health of local communities, marking another milestone in California’s groundbreaking climate leadership.
The budget approves more than $870 million for the coming fiscal year for a range of clean energy strategies, with the lion’s share earmarked for programs in the transportation sector, which is the single largest source of carbon pollution in California. The budget passed this year also sets up a long-term strategy for investing carbon pollution permit proceeds, dedicating 35% for sustainable community strategies that reduce carbon emissions – including public transit, building more walkable and bike-friendly cities, and affordable transit-oriented development – along with 25% for building the state’s high-speed rail line. The plan includes oversight from the Air Resources Board and Strategic Growth Council to ensure accountability, transparency, and consistency with legal requirements.
In an important commitment to social equity, the plan also adheres closely to the requirements of SB 535 (de León) to guarantee a portion of the proceeds to California communities already overburdened by pollution.
Following is a statement by Ann Notthoff, NRDC’s California Advocacy Director:
“This budget continues California’s leadership in the fight against climate change. It invests in cleaning up the single-biggest source of carbon pollution in California – transportation. Investing in transit and sustainable communities is a major down payment on a clean energy future. Going forward we must work to ensure that long-term investments in clean vehicles, energy efficiency, and clean energy financing are put on secure footing.”