FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 11, 2013—A diverse coalition representing California businesses, local government, health, transportation, economic justice and the environment joined together today to call on Governor Jerry Brown to repay the $500 million loan of cap and trade auction proceeds to the general fund in the current budget, and make good on commitments to voters by investing these and future proceeds, as required by law, in projects that grow the economy, create jobs in the communities that need them most, reduce carbon pollution and improve air quality.
The message is timely, as the Governor is preparing his 2014-2015 budget request and the state’s Legislative Analyst, Mac Taylor, has issued a new assessment, projecting a $5.6 billion surplus by June 2015 and rising surpluses for years to come. A budget surplus along with the Governor’s stated commitment to address the urgent threat of climate change translates into an imperative to invest proceeds now.
Participating in the news conference were representatives of the California Business Alliance for a Green Economy, the California State Association of Counties, CALSTART, Greenlining Institute, Coalition for Clean Air, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Pacific Forest Trust.
Specifically, the groups called on Governor Brown to commit to the following:
• Repay the $500 million loan from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction fund to the General Fund in the coming 2014-2015 budget;
• Invest the auction proceeds in the coming year, recognizing that the longer we wait to invest, the longer it will take to realize the returns on those investments; and
• Invest the auction proceeds in a broad variety of projects, reflecting that sluggish economy of recent years has taken a toll across the state and resulted in a diversity of needs.
The group also re-released a letter signed by 93 businesses and organizations, which makes similar requests of the Governor.
“California has an historic opportunity to make the investments that will build up communities and cement California’s position as a global leader in the clean economy,” said Susan Frank, Director of the California Business Alliance for a Green Economy. “This is not only the right thing to do; it is the only option under the law and the expressed will of the voters,” Frank said.
“We have a big problem with asthma and other respiratory ailments, so investments should help improve public health and make the air easier to breathe. We agree with statements Gov. Brown has made about the urgency of addressing climate change; now we need him to put our money where his mouth is,” said Bill Magavern, Policy Director of the Coalition for Clean Air. “Budgets show the state’s policy priorities, and he will not have credibility on the issue if he does not follow the law and use this money how it is intended,” Magavern said.
Susan Frank, California Business Alliance for a Green Economy
Bill Magavern, Coalition for Clean Air
Vien Truong, Greenlining Institute
Cara Martinson, California State Association of Counties
John Boesel, CALSTART
Established in 1971, the nonprofit Coalition for Clean Air (CCA) is California’s only statewide organization exclusively advocating for healthy air. CCA is known for spearheading innovative air quality policies, such as the Smog Check program, ban on toxic dry cleaning chemicals, and incentive funding for alt fuels; all of which serve as nationwide standards. With offices in Sacramento, Los Angeles and Fresno, CCA reduces air pollution and improves public health through advocacy, outreach and education. For more information, visit www.ccair.org.