California has been considered a national and global leader in addressing climate change by adopting climate policy that sets bold greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets and addresses historical inequities in our transportation sector. Despite the suite of aspirational targets, reports such as the draft 2022 Scoping Plan and draft SB150 report indicate that California will not meet its climate targets. This is why ClimatePlan is co-sponsoring AB 2438, a bill to align transportation spending with our climate targets.
With the rise of global temperatures and declarations of climate emergencies there is a clear need for bold climate leadership. Will the CA Senate Appropriations Committee bridge the gap between aspirational goals with the tangible policy needed to accomplish them by voting AYE for AB 2438?
California's transportation sector contributes nearly 50% of GHG emissions and 80% of smog-forming emissions, and 90% of diesel particulate emissions. For California to reduce our emissions and clean our air, the transportation sector has to change how it plans, funds, and builds our roads. Unfortunately, the recently published AB 285 report found that only 2% of transportation funding is in alignment, AND transportation policy can be convoluted and overly complicated. AB 2438 addresses these concerns. Members in the California State Assembly have moved the bill through, and now, California Senate Appropriations Committee members have the choice of whether to get us on track to meeting our climate goals.
CA Legislature should know AB 2438 is a no brainer
To provide meaningful solutions within our complex transportation decision-making, planning, and funding mechanisms, ClimatePlan is co-sponsoring AB 2438. ClimatePlan previously published a blog discussing why AB 2438 authored by Assemblymember Laura Friedman is so imperative.
On June 28th, AB 2438 made it out of the Senate Transportation Committee with 9 AYES (4 NOS) and is now headed to the Senate Appropriations Committee. On August 8th, the Chair and Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee have the power to decide if AB 2438 moves on to the Senate Floor.
Although AB 2438 is a no-brainer, it has unfortunately received hesitation based on misconceptions and misinterpretation of what AB2438 will and will not do.
WHAT AB 2438 DOES
Following the recommendations from the AB 285 report, AB 2438 will:
- Require our transportation agencies to develop a transparent and publicly available project nomination process to show how CAPTI strategies are incorporated in the project selection process.
- It will fiscally constrain the California Transportation Plan by requiring a realistic analysis of tradeoffs for what it will take to achieve our 2050 vision.
- It will require that transportation programs like; SHOPP, ITIP, LPP, TCEP, and SCCP incorporate the appropriate strategies from CAPTI as adopted by CAlSTA in July 2021.
WHAT AB2438 DOESN’T DO
AB 2438 does not undermine SB 1 “fix it first” programs. Opposition claims that AB 2438 will undermine SB 1 by 1) restricting which projects are considered for funding, 2) stopping projects that are meaningfully underway, 3) dictating outcomes to project sponsors, 4) will apply to Regional Transportation Improvement Program funds, and 5) stop freight routes and evacuation routes.
AB 2438 does not stop transportation projects from being built nor stop projects meaningfully underway. It does not change the intent of SB 1 programs and does not do what the opposition claims. AB 2438 ensures that new transportation projects built in California consider our climate goals. It means that we stop business as usual and ensure that as we build out our transportation system, roads, highways, bike lanes, and walking paths, they are improving communities and not polluting them.
What YOU Can Do
The Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on August 8 is approaching soon, and we encourage everyone to support the passage of AB2438 by signing up to our ClimatePlan listserv to receive key updates and utilizing our social media toolkit to advocate to our Senate Appropriation Committee Members for Yes on AB 2438.