Statement of Coalition for Clean Air Policy Director Bill Magavern:
Governor Newsom’s budget presented today rightly invests in protecting Californians from the ravages of wildfires, drought, soot and smog. We also applaud the Governor’s focus on equity, providing employment, environmental and transportation opportunities for disadvantaged Californians who have too often been left behind.
This budget commits an unprecedented $6.1 billion to put the cleanest trucks, buses and cars on the road, especially in our disadvantaged communities, and to install the infrastructure to fuel those vehicles. In addition, $750 million will go to making walking and bicycling more convenient and safe, especially in low-income communities, along with $3.25 billion in additional funds for public transportation.
California’s vehicles are responsible for the vast majority of our air pollution and are our largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Both the Los Angeles metropolitan area and the San Joaquin Valley continue to regularly face choking levels of smog and soot, and failure to meet healthy air standards could mean a loss of federal transportation funds. The state is not on track to meet our 2030 standard for reducing climate-changing pollution, largely because transportation emissions have stayed stubbornly high. And our low-income communities of color are suffering the greatest burdens of air and climate pollution. With our lungs under assault from the coronavirus respiratory infection, we – now, more than ever — need to protect Californians from lung-searing emissions.
Governor Newsom is investing in innovative new projects that provide clean mobility to disadvantaged communities by helping drivers scrap old clunkers and replace them with clean cars, giving financing assistance for the purchase of electric vehicles, and making EV car-sharing available to low-income Californians. And communities that have historically faced the environmental injustice inflicted by diesel exhaust from goods movement will be first in line for the cleanest trucks and port equipment to resolve supply-chain problems without sacrificing the lungs of our residents.
We also support the Governor’s proposed investments in green hydrogen, offshore wind, sustainable communities, and industrial and building decarbonization. All together, this represents an unprecedented commitment to a safer climate for all Californians.