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.
September 22, 2010, 11am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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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."

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Published on Monday, September 20, 2010 in Capitol Weekly
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