Assembly Passes Bill to Bring More Cap-and-Trade Funds to Disadvantaged Communities

Contact:
Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)
Isabel Alegría, Public Advocates, 510-541-5428 (cell), ialegria@publicadvocates.org
Shrayas Jatkar, Coalition for Clean Air Policy Associate, 916-527-8050; 916-248-9952 (cell)
Parin Shah, Asian Pacific Environmental Network 415-286-7850 (cell), parin@apen4ej.org

SACRAMENTO – This afternoon with bipartisan support the California Assembly passed AB 1550 (Gomez), designed to ensure that the benefits of California’s climate change policies reach the communities and households that need them most. The measure would require a minimum of 25 percent of proceeds from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to be invested in projects located directly within disadvantaged communities, with an additional 20 percent designated for projects that benefit low income households regardless of where they are located within California.

Environmental justice advocates hailed the vote, noting that it will ensure that climate investments in disadvantaged communities match the percentage of the state’s population living in those communities, while assuring that benefits also reach low-income Californians throughout the state.

“We applaud Assemblymember Gomez’s leadership and commitment to ameliorating the disproportionate amount of pollution and poverty that communities across the state have faced for decades,” said Miya Yoshitani, Executive Director of Asian Pacific Environmental Network. “The passage of AB 1550 expands opportunities for sorely needed investment and reaffirms the strength and value of CalEnviroScreen, a tool created by environmental justice communities, as the state’s tool for addressing historic disparities.”

“Despite the oil lobby’s propaganda campaign, California climate policies are bringing real benefits to communities hit hardest by pollution and poverty,” commented Greenlining Institute Environmental Equity Director Alvaro Sanchez. “AB 1550 makes a good program even better.”

“Assemblymember Gomez’ bill will fight pollution and deliver essential energy and transportation services to California communities that have suffered disproportionate impacts from pollution and poverty for too long,” said Bill Magavern, Policy Director for the Coalition for Clean Air.

Public Advocates Staff Attorney Chelsea Tu commented, “Today’s victory brings California one step closer to providing much-deserved cost savings and health benefits to low income people across the state, while continuing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

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