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Gov's Budget Invests In Clean Air for Low-Income Communities

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal includes plans to invest proceeds from cap-and-trade auctions to support the goals of California's landmark legislation, AB 32, particularly in targeting investments toward communities that are disproportionately impacted by greenhouse-gas pollution.
PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal includes plans to invest proceeds from cap-and-trade auctions to support the goals of California's landmark legislation, AB 32, particularly in targeting investments toward communities that are disproportionately impacted by greenhouse-gas pollution.
January 14, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Governor Jerry Brown's budget proposal is getting high marks from those who want to see proceeds from cap-and-trade auctions go toward cleaning up pollution in low-income communities. The state borrowed against the carbon-pollution funds last year, but this time the governor wants to spend $600 million on sustainable communities and clean transportation.

According to Vien Truong, environmental equity director for The Greenlining Institute, this will help communities near oil refineries and chemical plants that have been hit hardest by pollution and climate change.

"We have low-income communities and communities of color that really need to benefit from these revenues," Truong said. "Those are the folks that we are most concerned about. We want to make sure they're receiving the funds immediately."

Mari Rose Taruc, state organizing director at the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, said the time to invest these revenues is now. She said Brown's budget proposal includes funding for many shovel-ready projects that can help reduce emissions, create jobs and improve air quality statewide.

"Those would go towards helping low-income communities save money on energy bills and generate green jobs," she said.
"There's also $100 million for sustainable communities, as well as millions of dollars for urban forestry programs."

California law requires proceeds from cap-and-trade auctions be used for projects that further the goals of the state's landmark clean-energy law, AB32.

Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA