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Hot Bill Directing Cap-and-Trade Revenues to Local Pollution Reduction Efforts Passes Committee

April 7, 2014
A bill providing competitive funding grants for local governments to develop and implement greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction projects passed its first legislative hurdle today.
 
The League supports AB 1970 (Gordon) as it seeks to help local governments meet the challenges of adopting climate action plans and integrating strategies to transform communities and create long-term sustainability.     
 
Background
 
The passage of AB 32 in 2006 ushered in an unprecedented shift in state environmental quality and GHG reduction efforts. Referred to as the Global Warming Solutions Act, AB 32’s ambitious policies require the state reduction of GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and authorized the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to develop a cap-and-trade auction revenue program. The program sets limitations on the amount of GHG emissions a company may produce.  Should a company produce over the set GHG emissions cap, the company may either purchase or trade emissions ‘credits’ with other businesses to produce emissions over the set limit. Revenues generated by the sale of emission credits are deposited in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund created by AB 32.
 
AB 1970 (Gordon): Community Investment and Innovation Program.
 
AB 1970, authored by Assembly Member Rich Gordon (D-Los Altos), creates the Community Investment and Innovation Program and allocates cap-and-trade revenues to local governments for grants and other financial assistance to develop and implement GHG emission reduction projects. The bill directs the Strategic Growth Council, an entity charged with coordinating state agency efforts supporting sustainable community and environmental stewardship activities, to administer the program. Furthermore, AB 1970 provides specific revenue allocations to disadvantaged communities’ environmental quality efforts.
 
Committee Action & Next Steps
 
During today’s hearing, the Assembly Natural Resources Committee heard support testimony from Sacramento Vice Mayor Jay Schenirer and various local government organizations. The committee ultimately passed AB 1970 and referred it to its next hearing by the Assembly Local Government Committee. The League encourages city officials to submit letters of support to their respective Assembly representatives, as well as the following committee members to support the bill:
 
Assembly Local Government Committee Roster
 
Assembly Member Katcho Achadjian (R) – Chair
Assembly Member Marc Levine (D) – Vice Chair
Assembly Member Luis Alejo (D)
Assembly Member Steven Bradford (D)
Assembly Member Melissa Melendez (R)
Assembly Member Kevin Mullin (D)
Assembly Member Anthony Rendon (D)
Assembly Member Marie Waldron (R)
 


 
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