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Big Payoff for Transit from California Cap-and-Trade Program
"Transportation officials have selected 14 public transit projects across California for a slice of proceeds from the state's auction of greenhouse gas pollution credits, almost $391 million in spending between now and the summer of 2018," reports John Myers, Sacramento bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times.
The list of projects unveiled Tuesday includes more than $109 million for Los Angeles' subway system, including funds for the planned connection to LAX. Another $28 million would help fund a streetcar project in Orange County linking Santa Ana and Garden Grove.
Another streetcar project to receive funds from the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program, funded by cap-and-trade auction proceeds, was the Downtown/Riverfront Streetcar Project that would serve Sacramento and West Sacramento. It received $30 million.
"In total, 41 local governments submitted more than $3 billion in grant requests," reports Tony Bizjak for The Sacramento Bee. A complete list of the awards and a detailed summary is available on the California State Transportation Agency news release.
As for other funds, "Senate leader Kevin de León is making a new effort to unsnarl a two-year budget gridlock over money generated from the state's cap-and-trade program," reports Melanie Mason, state government and politics correspondent for the Los Angeles Times.
California's landmark cap-and-trade program, in which businesses purchase permits to pollute, has raised more than $4 billion -- all of which must be used to fund efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But for the last two years, Gov. Jerry Brown and top lawmakers have been unable to agree on how to spend $1.4 billion generated by the program.
Mason explains the problem in a related article on the embattled program:
Sixty percent of the proceeds are directed each year to certain projects, including the bullet train, transit and affordable housing programs. The rest is haggled over in the budget process.
Not only is the future of the only state-controlled cap-and-trade program in the U.S. uncertain, but legislation to authorize carbon reduction goals past the year 2020 is looking doubtful.
- Government / Politics
- West Sacramento
- Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (CARB)
- Orange County Streetcar
- Sacramento Streetcar
- California State Transportation Agency
- Gov. Jerry Brown
- Sen. Kevin de León
- Melanie Mason
- John Myers