By Jennifer Martinez |Staff Writer|
Gov. Jerry Brown is planning to move forward with his goal of reducing California’s petroleum use in half by 2030, according to the LA Times.
Last month, Gov. Brown submitted a budget to the California State Legislature that proposed spending a third of the state’s cap-and-trade funds, which is approximately $1 billion. according to the LA Times.
Brown’s goal is to cut oil use by 50 percent and with the state’s funds, he would invest in public transportation, promoting electric vehicles, and other environmentally friendly programs.
“If you’re not successful on the first go-round, it doesn’t mean you abandon your principles,” said spokesman for Brown’s Department of Finance, H.D. Palmer.
In 2015, the SB-350 Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act (CERPA) was proposed, however there was much opposition from oil companies and their lobbyists, according to focus.senate.ca.gov.
The CEPRA establishes targets to increase retail sales of renewable electricity to 50 percent by 2030, and double the energy efficiency savings in electricity and natural gas end uses by 2030, according to legislature.ca.gov.
Gov. Brown has maintained his priority on reducing petroleum muse by addressing it in his 2015 inauguration and constantly mentioning it since.
“Oil is the heart of modern prosperity, and yet it has the destructive impact that it’s going to undermine that prosperity very quickly,” said Brown at a news conference. “So we have to move off it.”
Brown’s administration says cutting petroleum use in vehicles is a crucial part of its climate change strategy because transportation accounts for an estimated 40 percent of California’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to arb.ca.gov.
The Air Resources Board said that going on with Brown’s goal will require Californians to decrease the number of miles they travel every year, continue improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency, and invest in fuel sources with lower carbon content.
This new budget proposal depends heavily on mass transit, proposing to add an extra $400 million of discretionary cap-and-trade funds, according to the LA Times.
An additional $500 million would go toward consumer rebates for electric vehicles and low-carbon fuels.
These proposed increments in spending are a combination of new cap-and-trade dollars and money left over from stalled negotiations in Sacramento from 2015, according to the LA Times.
California’s clean transportation policies will save over $8 billion on health care costs due to fewer asthma attacks, cardiac hospitalizations, and premature deaths from poor air quality, according to focus.senate.ca.gov.
“If the governor is going to push these expenditures forward, he will need to demonstrate to the legislature, and the people of California, how proposed spending can dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” stated The Western States Petroleum Association in a statement.
Democrats have argued that voting for this budget proposal could hurt low-income and commuter-reliant communities, according to the LA Times.
Any action that Gov. Brown takes toward his proposal remains at risk of being dismantled once he leaves office in 2018, according to arb.ca.gov.
“I do remain of the strong belief that [defining petroleum targets] statutorily is the best way to do it,” said Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León.
Kathryn Phillips of Sierra Club California applauded the governor for finding a way around the political stalemate to work toward cutting gasoline use now, according to the LA Times.
“The administration is pressing forward with what they can do at this point, but everything they’re doing is essentially consistent with that goal,” said Phillips.