CA communities reap benefits from spotless air policies

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Source:   —  April 10, 2016, at 9:41 PM

When I was a tiny girl, they told me stories about our motherland’s lush rain forests, productive soils and diverse wildlife. Later, as an attorney doing pro bono work in the Central Valley, I witnessed low-income Californians living following to fields full of oil pump jacks.

CA communities reap benefits from spotless air policies

My parents emigrated to the United States in the one thousand nine hundred sixty from Guyana, and I’ve keep down roots in Oakland. When I was a tiny girl, they told me stories about our motherland’s lush rain forests, productive soils and diverse wildlife.

Later, as an attorney doing pro bono work in the Central Valley, I witnessed low-income Californians living following to fields full of oil pump jacks. This experience opened my eyes to the fact that environmental injustices, which my family witnessed abroad, also happen in California.

The same communities who so frequently bear the brunt of climate modify are also historically on the losing finish of policy decisions, but CA is shattering this flawed model by fighting poverty and pollution at the same time.

By law, at least twenty-five % of proceeds from California’s signature climate modify and spotless energy law, AB thirty-two, should benefit disadvantaged communities – and we’re exceeding this in practice.

In two thousand-fourteenth, I witnessed a shameful spectacle in Sacramento as Western States Petroleum Organization lobbyists scrambled to exempt the oil industry from AB thirty-two. Luckily, the Legislature held firm, rejecting the oil lobby’s doomsday predictions, and didn’t give the industry a special exemption from California’s spotless air policies.

As of Jan. one, two thousand fifteen, California’s oil industry joined other polluters in having to pay for the carbon they keep into our air. Presently that the industry has complied with the law for over a year, it’s fitting to get stock.

Beyond question, Californians are reaping the benefits of AB thirty-two. None of huge oil’s self-serving warnings came true. Instead, CA saw its Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund roughly double in size, growing to more than $2 billion in proceeds overall – money that’s helping Californians spotless our air, rescue money and conserve energy.

By supporting affordable housing close public transportation, spotless vehicles, dependable transit, solar panels and more, CA climate investments are already helping us address long-standing community issues while helping families slice their energy bills.

More excellent news arrived recently. UCLA’s Luskin Middle for Innovation shared research indicating low-income Californians are seeing financial gains from AB thirty-two. A new Consumers Union report revealed that low-carbon policies, including AB thirty-two, will rescue Californians $8 billion to $18 billion on fuel in the following five years. By two thousand thirty, CA families will rescue up to $1.530 each year as a result of these policies, as new spotless energy investments bring jobs and opportunities into underserved neighborhoods.

AB thirty-two climate investments have already helped my community. More than $1.5 million went to plant trees in Richmond and Oakland, cleaning our air and revitalizing our neighborhoods. Nearly $1.6 million went to repairing and maintaining aging BART cars – particularly urgent given the system’s recent challenges. More than $3 million helped build thirty-two affordable apartments on International Boulevard, while $1.5 million backed forty units of affordable family housing in downtown Oakland.

There’s much more. People in all regions of CA are benefiting, and we’ve collected a few of their stories at .

Time and time again, the oil industry tells us to settle for filthy air. They attempt to sell us the same tired myth of “the economy vs. the environment” to convince us we should select one over the other, when the facts clearly prove otherwise.

In my E Bay residence and throughout California, we’ve chosen a brighter future. Particularly for my neighbors who face some of the state’s most entrenched pollution, our bold climate leadership – bolstered by the oil industry’s reluctant compliance with AB thirty-two – offers a promising way forward.

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