Tag Archive: cap-and-trade

  1. The Cap-and-Trade Spigot Opens

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    While the efficacy of California’s cap-and-trade program in reducing the state’s overall greenhouse gas emissions continues to be a subject of debate, the program’s ability to generate revenue (almost $1 billion through 2014) has been impressive. And as the pot of cap-and-trade revenue grows, the state is seeing more competing proposals for funding. Over the past month or so, proceeds from the auction of emissions permits have been allocated to a host of new programs for some innovative projects. In addition, the state’s cap-and-trade program is focusing resources to serve more low-income and disadvantaged communities. Passed in 2012, SB 535 requires allocating a minimum of 25 percent of the state’s cap-and-trade revenues to projects that benefit disadvantaged communities; a minimum of ten percent of the proceeds must be used for projects located in disadvantaged communities. With this mandate in mind, we look at a few of the more innovative programs that were awarded funding to help improve our most vulnerable communities. (more…)

  2. CalEnviroScreen Update

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    CalEnviroScreen 2.0 Helps Direct Cap-and-Trade Investments towards Greenhouse Gas Reduction in Disadvantaged Communities

    The 2014-15 state budget calls for approximately $832 million of cap-and-trade proceeds for programs that support energy efficiency, public transit, affordable housing and greenhouse gas reduction. At least a quarter of these proceeds will go towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions in disadvantaged communities pursuant to SB 585 (De Leon). To identify disadvantaged communities that are vulnerable to the effects of pollution, the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) developed the Communities Environmental Health Screening Tool (CalEnviroScreen) Tool. (more…)

  3. The Road to Environmental Equity

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    In less than six months, California’s cap-and-trade program will expand to include suppliers of natural gas and motor fuels, requiring the producers of these greenhouse gas-emitting fuels to pay for the privilege of polluting our atmosphere. This will likely result in a modest uptick in gasoline prices across the state, which has major oil companies  (and some lawmakers) crying foul about the equity implications of higher costs that will be passed on to consumers. But is there any merit to the argument that cap-and-trade is bad for low-income drivers? (more…)

  4. New Tool to Identify Environmental Justice Communities

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    We know that the burden of pollution is not distributed equally throughout California. People who live in low-income and minority communities are exposed to higher concentrations of pollutants and experience more health problems as a result.  In recent years various tools have been developed to identify the most ill-affected communities.

    The California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal EPA) and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) just released the latest draft of the California Community Environmental Health Screening Tool (CalEnviroScreen), a new resource that identifies the most burdened and vulnerable communities throughout the state. CalEnviroScreen quantifies a community’s pollution burden and considers its population characteristics to produce a weighted score. The scores are translated to maps that illustrate the relative burden that each community bears. CalEnviroScreen will be used as a tool to help the state to direct a portion of its cap-and-trade revenue to communities in need of economic and environmental health benefits.

    If you want to put in your two cents, OEHHA will be accepting comments on the CalEnviroScreen tool through January 25, 2013.

  5. What’s Next for California’s Cap-and-Trade Program?

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    California’s cap-and-trade program is up and running. The state’s Air Resources Board (CARB) held its first auction of greenhouse gas emission credits last month, racking up $289 million in revenue. Now, the state must decide on how best to divvy up the proceeds. Although much of the funding is legally restricted, the process for deciding who gets what promises to be contentious. (more…)