California Set To Adopt Emissions Targets From VMT Reduction

The fruition of a lengthy state planning process required by SB 375 may come as early as Sept. 23 when the CA Air Resources Board may adopt targets for 18 metropolitan regions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing vehicle miles traveled.

The Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008 (SB 375) requires "the State Air Resources Board, working in consultation with the 18 metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) in the state, to provide each affected region with greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for the automobile and light truck sector for 2020 and 2035 by September 30, 2010..."

Smart growth advocates are hopeful about the law, the main means to reduce emissions by reducing vehicle miles of travel, as opposed to improvements in vehicle technology, low carbon fuels, carbon trading, and other energy-reduction measures.

Bill Fulton warned at the California Planning and Development Report not to expect too much from the new regulations shortly to be adopted by the Air Resources Board:

"it's less than revolutionary on the land-use front, largely because it's incentive-based. Despite the headlines, the law doesn't 'tie state transportation funding to land use' it merely charges regional planning agencies, which are run by local elected officials, with making sure their own funding decisions are consistent with the new regional plans. Local governments don't have to comply with the plans."

Full Story: California writing new rules on greenhouse gases, sprawl

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Irvin Dawid's picture
Correspondent

Streetsblog's excellent article: CARB adoption of SB 375 targets

In Historic Vote, CARB Adopts Targets Under Landmark Anti-Sprawl Bill by Bryan Goebel on September 24, 2010

“I think what we’re seeing is kind of a realignment in the development industry,” said Stuart Cohen, the executive director of TransForm, a non-profit advocating for transit and smart growth. “We saw a lot of infill builders out at the hearing yesterday saying how this was going to make smart development easier. What’s really happening is that even a lot of the folks that have done the very larger sprawl development in the past have large infill arms now.”

TransForm also discusses The Bay Area's Sustainable Communities Strategy.

Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

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