As the California Air Resources Board (CARB) hears public comments on how to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues from the Golden State’s clean energy law (AB 32), business leaders say state officials should grab the chance to widen California‘s lead in the global clean energy race.
“Invest these funds strategically, and not in a scattershot way,” says Susan Frank, Director of the California Business Alliance for a Green Economy. “I am glad to see the state is pursuing a comprehensive plan, and I urge policy makers to take full advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to use that plan to guide investments that will maximize the benefits for California‘s diverse businesses, workforce and communities.”
The Department of Finance and CARB last week released a preliminary proposal for spending up to $600 million of revenues from sales of pollution permits.
The law says the revenues must be used to reduce greenhouse gases, while companion laws require that at least 25 percent of the proceeds be invested in projects that benefit disadvantaged communities. CARB’s proposal set forth four general priorities for the spending: transportation and sustainable communities, planning and direct funding for sustainable infrastructure investments, energy-efficiency and clean energy, and natural resources.
In supporting these general categories, some of California‘s most prominent clean energy business leaders also called for a deliberate plan geared to getting the most for the money.