ACTION ALERT: Contact Governor Newsom’s office now and ask for more money for clean cars, trucks, and busesContact Governor Newsom
Statement of Coalition for Clean Air Policy Director Bill Magavern
Friday, January 10, 2020
Governor Newsom today proposed a debilitating cut in the state’s budget for clean transportation. The Air Resources Board’s funding for Low Carbon Transportation would fall from $485 million this year – which is already inadequate to meet the needs – to only $350 million in 2020-‘21. This money goes to put the cleanest trucks, buses and cars on the road, especially in our disadvantaged communities. We are disappointed in today’s proposal, and we call on the Governor to do better.
In his upcoming State of the State address, Governor Newsom should announce a massive new investment in clean transportation. During his 2018 campaign, he pledged to “Set California on the Fast Track to Zero Diesel Pollution by 2030.” It’s now time to make at least a down payment on fulfilling that promise, which will require a mix of strong standards and incentives.
California’s vehicles are responsible for the vast majority of its air pollution and are the 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.
Fortunately, we have solutions that will not only reduce California’s transport-related emissions, but also make it easier for residents to get around. We can ramp up deployment of battery-electric and hydrogen-fuel-cell cars, trucks and buses, which generate no tailpipe pollution. Governor Newsom should invest in innovative new projects that are providing clean mobility to disadvantaged communities by helping drivers scrap old clunkers and replace them with clean cars, giving financing assistance for the purchase of EVs, 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 should be first in line for the cleanest trucks, trains and vessels.
Moving to zero-emission transportation also creates jobs and grows California’s economy; in fact, electric vehicles were the state’s second-biggest export last year. We are hopeful that the Climate Catalyst Fund proposed by the Governor will help innovative businesses create more sustainable transportation jobs by speeding the deployment of zero-emission vehicles and infrastructure.
While Trump tries to make our air dirty again, Newsom can move us forward to a healthier future – but he’ll have to commit the necessary funds and work with the Legislature to make his promises a reality.