Over the past few weeks, TransForm allies have gathered to voice support for the effective and equitable use of cap-and-trade auction revenues. Last week, as the California Air Resources Board (CARB) ended its public comment period on the auction proceeds’ development plan, it was clear that our voices were heard.
Dozens of people turned out to support our platform for the use of cap-and-trade auction revenues at the CARB public workshops in Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles. Many also submitted written comments to CARB in support of affordable transit-oriented development, transit passes for the people most likely to use transit, complete bicycle and pedestrian networks, energy efficiency programs, and other uses proposed by the platform. Still others have signed our online petition.
These revenues are a critical new source of funding for transportation in the state! CARB is required to allocate them in ways that reduce emissions and support disadvantaged communities, but the details are up to the board. At the hearings, I felt that the board was genuinely open to and interested in public opinion, and that comments and petitions such as ours are being carefully considered.
Our work isn’t complete, and over the next few months, the public still has many ways to participate. CARB’s current draft concept paper for investing cap-and-trade auction revenues is good, but now that we have been heard, we expect it will get better! CARB will publish its second draft in early April, and holds a hearing later that month. This concept paper is intended to help the Department of Finance create its investment plan, which will be presented as part of the State Budget in May. At that point, the Legislature will weigh in on the budget process and come to an agreement with the governor over the use of these vital resources.
Currently, over fifty organizations from around the state have signed on to Sustainable Communities for All, our platform for the equitable and effective use of auction revenues to lower greenhouse gas emissions. If your organization is interested and has not yet signed on, please contact me. You can also still sign the petition.
And don’t forget to sign up for our Transportation Choices Summit on April 23rd, where you can hear CARB Chair Mary Nichols, Transportation Secretary Brian Kelly, and others discuss the big issues in transportation, land use, and housing, including the cap-and-trade auction revenues