Wednesday, September 3, 2008

CA Cities must reduce CO2 before they receive transportation funding

Looks like California is - once again - raising the bar. This time they are looking at creating incentives for cities and counties to reduce CO2 reduction goals by withholding government trasnportation funding unless certain requirements are met. Here's a clip from the Wall Street Journal yesterday:

California lawmakers passed a bill aimed at cutting carbon-dioxide emissions by rewarding cities and counties that prevent urban sprawl and improve public transportation.

The bill's proponents and transportation experts say it is the first measure in the nation to link government transportation funding with urban planning and CO2-reduction goals. Senate Bill 375 contends that cutting back on driving is as critical in the fight against global warming as producing cleaner fuels and more-efficient vehicles. Transportation experts say they expect the bill to become a model for state and national policy makers.

Under the new bill, regional planning authorities will have to develop realistic plans to meet emission-reduction targets in order to receive transportation funding and lighter regulations for builders. Compact projects built close to public-transportation options are rewarded with fewer regulatory hurdles.

With passenger vehicles accounting for about 30% of the state's emissions, lowering the number of miles Californians drive is indispensable, said Stanley Young, a spokesman for the Air Resources Board, the agency that implements the 2006 law.

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