Newsom’s Budget Puts California on Clean-Air Route

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Bill Magavern
Friday, January 8, 2021 916-214-0065

Statement of Coalition for Clean Air Policy Director Bill Magavern

Governor Newsom today proposed a major infusion of funds in the state’s budget for clean transportation. This $1.5 billion will go 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. This proposal follows the Governor’s September Executive Order committing the state to a transition to zero-emission transportation. We applaud the Governor for putting his money where his mouth is and recognizing the value of making smart investments in that clean transportation transition. And the Governor is rightfully prioritizing clean mobility and clean air for the Californians most vulnerable to pollution, poverty and pandemic.

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.

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, along with the stations that provide charging and fueling for those vehicles. 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.

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