Governor Newsom signed AB 126 which reauthorizes $173 million per year in funding for equitable clean transportation programs over the next 10 years, 50% of which will go to underserved communities.
Sacramento, CA — Clean air and environmental justice advocates are celebrating Governor Newsom signing AB 126 into law. AB 126 reauthorizes critical funding for the state’s most effective clean transportation programs. However, groups lament obstruction activities that could have put hundreds of millions of dollars in clean air investments at risk.
Highlights that advocates fought hard to include:
At least 50% of the Clean Transportation Program investments will go to building charging and clean fueling infrastructure in disadvantaged communities. The Air Quality Improvement Program will prioritize projects located in regions with the poorest air quality.
Programs that replace old polluting vehicles will now only support the purchase of plug-in hybrid and battery-electric vehicles.
Strong investment in heavy-duty electrification to clean up some of the most harmful air pollutants in the state.
The Charge Ahead California Coalition, which includes the Coalition for Clean Air, Communities for a Better Environment, Environment California, the Greenlining Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council, advocated renewing these critical clean air investments for the last three years.
REACTIONS FROM THE CHARGE AHEAD CAMPAIGN ON THE PASSAGE OF AB 126:
“This historic investment in clean air will help free Californians from pain-at-the-pump and pain-in-the-lungs,” said Max Baumhefner, an attorney with the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council).
“We are very excited for the passage of this ra-authorization package and especially allocation of funds to enhance clean mobility options for vulnerable communities. Now, we need to focus on the proper implementation of these programs and continue to educate decision-makers about the false claims made by the greedy hydrogen lobby throughout this process,” said Bahram Fazeli, Policy Director at Communities for a Better Environment.
“We appreciate efforts to maintain a sustainable funding source to support charging infrastructure and vehicle retirement and replacement programs. While we appreciate the commitment of investing a minimum of 50% of clean transportation program funds to directly benefit low-income and disadvantaged communities, our communities need much more to undo the legacies of historic disinvestment and systemic racism. We’re encouraged by this first step and look forward to working with CARB, CEC and the legislature to ensure the impact of the equity commitments matches the intent of the legislation” said Román Partida-López, Senior Legal Counsel for Transportation Equity at The Greenlining Institute.
“Californians can breathe easier knowing that lawmakers have renewed three programs that reduce harmful pollution, especially in the communities that suffer from the worst impacts of toxic emissions,” said Bill Magavern, Policy Director for the Coalition for Clean Air.
“This is a huge win for all who want to wake up and breathe fresh clean air instead of the smog still being formed by pollution from the cars and trucks that have filled our roads for over a hundred years. With this vote, the state just renewed $2 billion in funds for some of the most effective California clean transportation programs,” said Laura Deehan, Director of Environment California.