5/15/2013: Governor’s Budget Revision Misses Golden Opportunity To Reduce Climate Pollution Now

Transportation Choices Receive High Priority For Future Funding

Stuart Cohen, 510-543-7419 or [email protected]
Shannon Tracey, 510-338-2937 or [email protected]

May 15, 2013

Sacramento -- On the heels of reports that carbon concentrations have hit 400 ppm, a threshold widely recognized as a dangerous level that could bring drastic climate impacts, Governor Brown released his revision of the state budget with a proposal to postpone investing revenues from California's landmark greenhouse gas cap-and-trade auctions. Rather than beginning to invest these revenues now in programs needed to reduce climate pollution, the Governor proposes loaning $500 million to the General Fund that would be repaid at an undisclosed date.

In response to the Governor’s budget, TransForm Executive Director Stuart Cohen issued the following statement:

“We strongly support the prioritization of clean transportation and sustainable communities included in the Final Investment Plan for cap-and-trade revenues released today by the Department of Finance, and believe it is critical to begin implementing and funding these objectives this year.

“We disagree with the Governor’s proposal to transfer $500 million in cap-and-trade auction revenues to the General Fund and postpone needed investments in projects and programs that could achieve greenhouse gas reductions this year. While we appreciate the Governor’s interest in taking a prudent approach to ensure that the investments maximize greenhouse gas reductions, there are existing and proposed transportation priorities that would further this goal and reap significant economic and public health benefits for all Californians, especially disadvantaged communities most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

“These investments are critical not only to tackling the state’s largest source of climate pollution – transportation – but also to creating more opportunities for all Californians to live in safe, affordable, and thriving communities. California families can cut carbon emissions and save thousands of dollars annually by living in places with convenient public transportation, safe places to walk and bike, and affordable homes near transit.

“We look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature to swiftly fund these priorities and make good on the incredible opportunity afforded by cap-and-trade revenues to leverage new funding for a stronger future for everyone.”

For the full text of the Governor’s revision of the state budget, visit www.ebudget.ca.gov.