San Joaquin Valley COGs: Unpacking the Black Box

The San Joaquin Valley’s first Sustainable Communities Strategies (SCSes) under SB 375 are heading into the home stretch, and while some Valley counties have made great strides, there is plenty of room for improvement. Last month, 24 organizations asked the Air Resources Board (ARB) to ensure that Valley counties meet the targets via ambitious land use and transportation policy improvements.

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Changing the tide: Ensuring California invests in sustainable transportation choices!

metrolocal-150x150.jpgEvery two years, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) decides which regional transportation projects will receive priority state funding over the next five years in the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). Despite the ground-breaking report from State Smart Transportation Initiative (SSTI) which pushed Caltrans and the CTC to align investments with the state’s environmental goals, the 2014 STIP invested 81 percent of state funds in road and highway projects and only 17 percent in transit! Right now, California leads the nation in its charge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create sustainable communities. Our state transportation dollars need to implement this vision!

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State budget: What’s going on with cap & trade and sustainable communities

Below is an excerpt from ClimatePlan Steering Committee member Stuart Cohen’s analysis of the latest budget negotiations involving cap and trade revenue investments.

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Focus on Fresno – Major May Wins

The San Joaquin Valley continues to figure prominently in ClimatePlan’s work; the last few weeks have been especially active. Below we highlight two major wins in Fresno resulting from months — even years — of effort by our Fresno allies! In both instances, we see the importance of investing in existing neighborhoods as a way to improve and ensure public and fiscal health take center stage.

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Trojan University?

Last Friday, ClimatePlan partner ECOS suffered a disappointing setback in its effort to halt the development of the infamous Cordova Hills project, when a judge rejected their legal challenge to the SCS-busting development. Although a potentially VMT-mitigating university never materialized, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors approved the project, to the chagrin of many. Not only will the project increase VMT, its approval undermines the region’s collaborative ethos and jeopardizes Sacramento’s standing as it competes for funds (including, potentially, cap-and-trade money) to implement the state’s climate goals.

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