"Cap and trade is a very difficult concept for people to wrap their heads around," said Ryan Wiggins, state cap-and-trade campaign manager for the nonprofit TransForm. "It's hard for people to hear this program is generating $3 billion a year and a huge chunk of that money is going back into their communities."
To shed some light on what projects cap-and-trade dollars are funding, as well as quantify the benefits of this climate change policy, last week, the Oakland-based group, which works primarily on transportation issues, released an interactive map that tracks investments from California's cap-and-trade program. The tool also shows how many metric tons of greenhouse gases have been mitigated as a result of the projects.
The tool marks the state’s first easy-to-read geographic mapping of cap-and-trade grants, which are now being disbursed through a handful of state agencies. The map includes West Gateway Place, a 77-unit housing project in West Sacramento that received more than $6 million last month, mostly for improvements to surrounding infrastructure. “We hope this is a resource for anyone to use to see what is going on in your community and what kinds of projects are coming,” said Shannon Tracey, a spokeswoman for Transform, an Oakland-based nonprofit.
TransForm, an independent non-profit, has launched a compelling tool attempting to show the scope of these investments. At a website titled ClimateBenefitsCA they’ve put together an interactive map, locating and detailing projects all around the state that are advancing cleaner, greener, and more affordable communities across California.
TransForm, a nonprofit that advocates for rational transportation and land use policies, just unveiled a searchable online map to track investments from California’s cap-and-trade program. The Climate Benefits Map, currently in beta form, will eventually collect all the data available about the various programs and projects funded by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) and make it available for the public to peruse.
“No one in charge, at least in the past, had the foresight to say the reality is the system needs investment” in ongoing maintenance and upgrades, said Joel Ramos, Bay Area regional planning director at TransForm, an Oakland-based nonprofit that’s pushing for more public transit funding and more accountability on how those funds are spent.
"BART is 43. It's like a middle aged person with aching knees and a creaky back," said Jeff Hobson, acting executive director of the Oakland-based TransForm. "Its parts need to be replaced."
Breathe California is the lung health organization for California. Our weekly TV show runs on Thursdays at 8 p.m. on Comcast channel 15 in San Jose/Campbell. Yesterday, we recorded Chris Lepe of TransForm, discussing their Bay Area wide Clean Air Award, as well as their ongoing role in encouraging walking, cycling, and mass transit.
Representatives from the California Bicycle Coalition and TransForm urged committee members to keep in mind that highway funding is directly related to other, equally important, concerns. Josh Stark of TransForm reminded them that “transportation is a vital component in tackling future climate change.”
Chris Lepe, de la organización TransForm y Carlos Velazquez de la Coalición de Ciclistas del Silicon Valley hablan sobre el transporte asequible en el noticiero Telemundo 48.
But according to a 2013 report from Kott and TransForm called “Innovation Required: Moving More People with Less Traffic,” converting existing lanes to express lanes would move 75 percent more people on 101 using 10 percent fewer vehicles, at far less cost, compared to building new, un-tolled carpool lanes.
“We need to make sure that more people can live close to transit,” says Jeff Hobson of the transportation advocacy group TransForm. “This is a tough place to drive to and to park to. It's a lot more sensible of a place to walk or bike or take transit to.
Beall believes that large projects give “more bang for the buck” in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. But others dispute that view. Josh Stark of TransForm points to a study conducted by the Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Council [PDF] that showed that large capital projects don’t necessarily perform better than smaller projects when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).
BART officials are considering putting a bond measure on the 2016 ballot in three Bay Area counties to help pay for the upgrades. The transit advocacy group, TransForm, has been encouraging BART to ask for a billion dollars.
In its landmark 25th year, Breathe California’s CLEAN AIR AWARDS recognized nine Bay Area innovators using effective strategies to address climate change, air quality, and lung health.