As regions throughout the state have been developing their first round of Sustainable Communities Strategies, one question that has consistently been asked is: “How do we fund all of these great projects?” And now, with the release of the California Air Resources Board’s Draft Investment Plan for the cap-and-trade program, we are hopeful that regional and local governments may soon have another revenue option.
The Investment Plan, which was released April 16th, lists Sustainable Communities and Clean Transportation as a top priority for receiving the cap-and-trade proceeds. In fact, the plan acknowledges that if California seriously wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the state must invest new funding in expanding transit, passenger rail, and high-speed rail service, as well as programs that contribute to transit-oriented development, sustainable communities, and active transportation. We couldn’t agree more!
Considering that transportation causes more than 40% of the state’s total greenhouse gases, this is a wise investment. A number of our partners and allies, including the Sustainable Communities for All Coalition, SB 535 coalition, and Transportation Coalition for Livable Communities (TCLC) have been working hard to educate decision makers about the opportunities and benefits of sustainable, healthy, equitable communities.
In addition, the Air Resources Board held a public hearing on April 25th on the Draft Investment Plan and the public response was tremendous. While most advocates enthusiastically supported the investment plan’s commitment to sustainable communities, advocates also asked CARB to consider improvements to the plan to ensure that it provided better commitments to sustainable communities and especially disadvantaged communities.
Click here for more information on the CARB hearing and to view specific public comments on the plan. You can also read more about the plan on TransForm’s blog, Prevention Institute’s blog and the Safe Routes to School blog. Plus, check our action alerts page for opportunities to engage!