SACRAMENTO, California October 1, 2012 – Advocates for low-income communities applauded Gov. Jerry Brown today for signing into law two bills that direct a significant portion of the proceeds from the state's cap-and-trade program to disadvantaged communities. Depending on the actual price of carbon allowances sold under the program, the new laws could generate hundreds of millions of dollars to bring jobs and cleaner air to these areas each year.
The bills have been supported by a broad coalition of environmental and civil rights groups and were a key element of The Greenlining Institute's legislative agenda this year.
"These two new laws will direct money raised by California's climate change program to where it will do the most good," said Vien Truong, Green Assets Program Director at The Greenlining Institute. "California's low-income communities suffer first and worst from pollution and climate change, and desperately need investment and job opportunities from the new clean energy economy. Real people's lives will be better because of the governor's action today."
SB 535 (de Leon) would guarantee that 10 percent of the potential $1 billion in revenue generated by California's cap-and-trade program be directed to disadvantaged communities for programs to reduce pollution and develop clean energy. It requires the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) to develop a method for identifying priority community areas for investment in programs or projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions or mitigate direct health impacts of climate change. This bill was co-sponsored by The Greenlining Institute, Coalition for Clean Air, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
AB 1532 (Perez) requires moneys in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund be used to achieve feasible, cost-effective reductions of greenhouse gas emissions in the state through investments that also maximize economic, environmental, and public health benefits. It also directs at least 25 percent of the expenditures go towards projects that would benefit areas disproportionately affected by pollution and suffering from high concentrations of unemployment, low levels of homeownership, high rent burden, and low levels of educational attainment.
The Greenlining Institute - A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute www.greenlining.org
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