Supporting a transition to clean, electrified transportation is one of the most effective ways that we can cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce localized air pollution in California. Since 2007, California has funded key programs, like the Clean Transportation Program, that invest millions each year across an array of transportation projects throughout the state. California risks falling behind in achieving ambitious goals on climate change, air quality, fossil fuel reduction, and adoption of zero-emission vehicles, as funding for these programs is set to expire in 2024. Voting yes on bill AB 241 would reauthorize and ensure continued funding for critical clean transportation programs and the advancement of California’s goals.
Securing a steady stream of funding for these programs is crucial to reducing emissions from the transportation sector, which is the largest source of climate-warming and health-harming pollutants in California. We need to keep up the momentum and continue leading the way on climate and equity. California has shown public support for the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) industry for years, developing a year-by-year roadmap so that by 2035 100% of new cars and light trucks sold in the state will be zero-emission vehicles. California’s commitment to vehicle electrification has had tangible impacts. As the Inflation Reduction Act demonstrated, where public investment goes, private investment follows. Now, one in four new cars sold in California is a zero-emission vehicle. We need continued funding so that we can keep moving towards achieving these ambitious targets.
Rapidly accelerating the number of ZEVs on our roads will deliver huge emission and pollution reductions to all Californians, especially for those who bear a disproportionate burden of the state’s air pollution and roadways and suffer from the health impacts of persistent air pollution. Along with funding that is dedicated to ZEVs, this bill also contains strong equity provisions. These provisions require at least 50% of Clean Transportation Program funds be spent “on programs and projects that directly benefit or serve residents of disadvantaged and low-income communities and low-income Californians, and at least 50 percent of the funds for tangible location-based investments shall be expended in disadvantaged and low-income communities.”
Let’s invest in clean air, climate solutions, and communities. Passing AB 241 offers the ongoing funding we need to advance clean transportation and equity in California.