State Issues

San Diego and SB 375: Lessons from California's first Sustainable Communities Strategy

A comprehensive look at California's first Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS), approved by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).

Download: SAN DIEGO AND SB375: Lessons from California's First Sustainable Communities Strategy

Windfall for All

How Connected, Convenient Neighborhoods Can Protect Our Climate and Safeguard California's Economy
How Connected, Convenient Neighborhoods Can Protect Our Climate and Safeguard California's Economy
Windfall for All

Climate Impact Fee

A Way to Fight Climate Change and Fund Public Transportation

An incredible 50% of the Bay Area's greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation (and nearly 40% statewide!).

So how are we supposed to cut our emissions 80% by 2050 if all we get are funding cuts for the very thing that reduces greenhouse gas emissions from transportation: public transit? We can't!

That's why TransForm is working on legislation that would let regional agencies ask voters to approve a climate impact fee on gasoline or vehicles that would improve public transportation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2009, we're supporting SB 205, which gives voters the option of raising vehicle license fees to fund local transportation improvements. 

Take action to support SB 205 now!

Our Pass Efforts to Pass a Climate Impact Fee

In the 2008 legislative season, we sponsored AB 2744 and actively supported AB 2558. AB 2744 (Huffman) would have given Bay Area voters the chance to approve a greenhouse gas mitigation fee of up to 10 cents per gallon on motor vehicle fuel, with the revenues funding a "Transportation Fund for Climate Protection". AB 2744 was defeated by a narrow margin in the Assembly Transportation Committee. AB 2558 (Feuer, Huffman) would have give any region in California a similar opportunity.

While both bills had tremendous support from environmental and transportation advocates, the opposition from special interests (led by oil and gas companies that are among the most profitable the world) was intense. The Western States Petroleum Association, The California Chamber of Commerce, and AAA, came out in full force to oppose these bills.

Transportation accounts for nearly 40% of California's GHG emissions. TransForm is working to enable the Bay Area and other California regions to raise fees on gas or vehicles in order to reduce emissions and improve our transportation system.

SB 375 & ClimatePlan

SB 375's Potential for Reforming Transportation and Land Use

For the past 50 years, poorly planned growth has led to an almost complete reliance on cars and  transportation is now the largest and fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in California

California's groundbreaking 2008 law, SB 375, has created an incredible window of opportunity to reduce emissions, clean our air, reduce traffic and save families money.  

In September 2010, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets from transportation for each of the state's 18 major regions.  These targets are emissions reductions per capita.

TARGETS    
Region 2020 2035
SCAG (Southern CA) 8% 13% (or more)
MTC (Bay Area) 7% 15%
SANDAG (San Diego) 7% 13%
SACOG (Sacramento) 7% 16%
San Joaquin Valley 5%

10% (to be revisited in 2012)

Now, each region is working on their strategy to implement meet these targets through Sustainable Communities Strategies (SCS's). Under SB 375, a region should achieve an SCS by aligning long-term land use blueprints, regional plans for housing all residents of all incomes, and transportation investment plans.

The first region to complete an SCS was San Diego (available as part of their SANDAG 2050 Regional Transportation Plan). TransForm's Executive Director provided strategic policy support for non-profit groups in the region, and submitted his detailed commnets to the agency: Recommendations for Improving SANDAG’s 2050 RTP and for Post-RTP Actions.   While several were accepted, such as $700 million for a Safe Routes to Transit program, the plan had a host of weaknesses. For a full assessment of San Diego's SCS please download the report, San Diego and SB 375: Lessons from California's First Sustainable Communities Strategy, by TransForm and ClimatePlan.  It includes great lessons for stakeholders in any region.

TransForm is also helping lead efforts to make the Bay Area's SCS a model for sustainability and equity.

Learn more about SB 375 and how regions throughout the state are implementing it by visiting ClimatePlan, a collaboration of environmental, social equity, health and other organizations.   TransForm co-founded, fiscally sponsors and provides programmatic support for ClimatePlan.

Resources

Download TransForm's SB 375 fact sheet.

Read TransForm's Windfall for All  report that outlines how the policies that SB 375 calls for can dramatically reduce households' costs and reduce expenses for strapped local governments at the same time as they promote healthier neighborhoods and protect our climate.

Read CARB's full report on the targets: Regional Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Targets for Automobiles and Light Trucks Pursuant to Senate Bill 375

Find out about TransForm's work to make the Bay Area's Sustainable Communities Strategy a model for the state. 

For more information, contact Stuart Cohen.

SB 375 provides an historic opportunity to create sustainable communities that reduce the amount we have to drive, clean our air and reduce costs to families.
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