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Cities Urged to Support Cap-and-Trade Proposal that would Fund Transportation, Affordable Housing and GHG Reduction

May 21, 2014
The final FY 2014-15 state budget is likely to contain allocations of Cap-and-Trade revenues and it is critical that cities communicate their support for the dedication of funding for sustainable communities strategies implementation and affordable housing immediately.
 
June 15 is the constitutional budget deadline and there are many interests negotiating for part of these revenues.

SB 375 was enacted in 2008 with the understanding that funding for its implementation would soon follow. Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) released a proposal last month that could provide critical funding to city projects that will help California meet its air quality goals. Because more than 80 percent of Californians live in a city, cities will play a significant role in this process. Moreover funding should go to the level of government that is responsible for implementing GHG emissions reduction strategies. For more information and a breakdown of funding allocations, please see “Senate President Pro Tem Steinberg Announces Cap and Trade Proposal,” CA Cities Advocate, April 14, 2014.
 
The proposal includes 40 percent (after $610 million in set asides) for sustainable communities strategies implementation and affordable housing including transit-oriented development, land use planning, active transportation, high density mixed use development, transportation efficiency and demand management projects. 
 
Take Action
 
The League is asking its members to call their representatives to support the dedication of funding for sustainable communities strategies implementation and affordable housing in the final budget agreement. A sample letter is available on the League’s Action Center.
 
Legislator phone numbers can be searched online by address. All contact info is pre-loaded to the League’s Action Center.
 
Background
 
The Cap-and-Trade program is a crucial element of California’s greenhouse gas reduction program under AB 32. The program works by establishing a hard cap on about 85 percent of the total statewide greenhouse gas emissions. This includes industries such as mining, oil production and energy production, manufacturing plants, transportation fuels and others.
 
The California Air Resources Board  issues emission “allowances” equal to the total amount of allowable emissions over a given compliance period. Entities that are regulated under the program are able to “trade” or buy and sell a portion of these allowances. Each allowance is equal to one ton of greenhouse gases. As the overall cap declines, fewer allowances will be available.


 
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