Wednesday, November 30, 2022

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Advocates Press for CA Climate-Change Budget

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Wednesday, May 11, 2022   

The May revision of Gov. Gavin Newsom's budget is due at the end of this week, so conservation groups are speaking out, calling for what they call a Climate Courage Budget, with at least 5% of state spending over five years.

Advocates want the state to commit roughly $75 billion, about twice what Newsom proposed at the beginning of the year.

Samuel Sukaton, advocacy coordinator for the group California Environmental Voters, acknowledged the governor proposed a historic amount, but argued it is not large enough to truly tackle the problem.

"Historic is not the same thing as adequate," Sukaton contended. "$37.6 billion over five years is about 2% of the state's budget per year. But two cents on the dollar is not really enough."

The governor's current budget would combat climate change on multiple fronts, with billions to cut emissions from transportation, electrify more homes and buildings, invest in clean energy, reduce wildfire risk and much more.

In a letter to the governor, Envirovoters' climate budget seeks to expand on those priorities, and put more money into fleets of electric buses, incentives to buy zero-emission vehicles, and programs to reduce water usage during the drought.

Sukaton emphasized the state needs to build out the power grid so, for example, wind farms in Humboldt Bay can send power to San Francisco and Sacramento.

"Without grid adjustments to export that capacity from Humboldt all the way to the rest of the state, we're not actually getting that energy to people that need it," Sukaton stated.

The Climate Courage Budget also calls for extra investment in natural landscapes that absorb carbon from the atmosphere, and to help workers in the oil and gas field retrain as California transitions away from fossil fuels.

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