CP&DR News Briefs, May 4, 2015: Brown Sets 2030 Greenhouse Gas Targets; OPR Releases Draft VMT Guidelines; Caltrans Management Plan, and MoreBy Matthew Hose and CP&DR Staff on 3 May 2015 - 9:25pm
Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order to establish a California greenhouse gas reduction target of 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 – the most aggressive benchmark enacted by any government in North America to reduce dangerous carbon emissions over the next decade and a half. It also orders the state to prepare for adaptation to climate change. California is on track to meet or exceed the current target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, as established in the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32). California’s new emission reduction target of 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 will make it possible to reach the ultimate goal of reducing emissions 80 percent under 1990 levels by 2050. This is in line with the scientifically established levels needed in the U.S. to limit global warming below 2 degrees Celsius – the warming threshold at which scientists say there will likely be major climate disruptions such as super droughts and rising sea levels.“With this order, California sets a very high bar for itself and other states and nations, but it’s one that must be reached – for this generation and generations to come,” said Brown in a statement. (See CP&DR commentary by Josh Stephens and Bill Fulton on the order's potential impact on statewide Sustainable Communities Strategies.)
This week, Gov. Jerry Brown announced an executive order to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2030. It’s being hailed as the most aggressive climate change policy pursued by any government in North America – but will it put the squeeze on California’s metropolitan planning organizations and their sustainable communities strategies?
Brown’s order has drawn attention for its combination of ambition and immediacy. But it does not come out of thin air. Brown’s 2030 targets fit, substantively and chronologically, between those of Fran Pavley’s 2006 law Assembly Bill 32, which mandates lowering GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2010, and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s goals of 80 percent reduction by 2050, also established by executive order. Meeting them means that, in relatively short order, California will look, drive, and power itself far differently than it does today — especially as its population continues to rise.
The order requires all state agencies with jurisdiction over sources of greenhouse gas emissions to participate. Agencies must prepare implementation plans by September 2015, with guidance from a technical advisory group that will be set up by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research.
There is, perhaps, no place on Earth so supremely well suited for high-speed rail as the leeward side of the island of Formosa. Sheltered from the Pacific winds, all of Taiwan's major cities hug the island's western coastal plain, unbroken by the mountains that characterize the interior. Running in nearly a straight line, the train covers the 214 miles from the Taipei to Zouying in two hours. It now carries 44 million passengers per year.
Over the past year, even the most irate objectors to Gov. Jerry Brown's dismantling of redevelopment held out hope that in agreeing to kill redevelopment, the legislature would invent a new, better system for stoking local economic growth. Last week, the governor dashed those hopes.
California's relentless, ever widening budget deficit has claimed another victim: redevelopment's affordable housing funds.
In releasing his proposed 2012-13 budget last Thursday, Gov. Jerry Brown also proposed a major reorganization of state government that would separate transportation and housing at the same time Brown’s policy thrust is intended to link the two closer together.
In particular, Brown has proposed a major restructuring of the Business, Transportation, and Housing (BTH) Agency that would have here parts:
Amid all the debating and litigating around redevelopment's demise, it's sometimes easy to forget what, exactly, Californians are fighting over. But this week's premature release of Gov. Jerry Brown's 2102 budget offers a handy reminder: it's money.
In a hastily called press conference to roll out the 2012-2013 budget on Thursday afternoon, Gov. Jerry Brown said he would consider funding redevelopment only if the Legislature brings him offsetting cuts.
The California Redevelopment Association is seeking legislation that would postpone the elimination of RDAs beyond the February 1 date set by the state Supreme Court last week. In response to a reporter's question about whether Brown would support an extension "for a few months," Brown said:
While the Legislature remains deadlocked on Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal, it seems that what does not kill redevelopment may in fact make it stronger. Many observers had written the obituary for the state's redevelopment system back in March when Brown was insisting that the state had to recoup redevelopment's tax increment in order to help plug its $24 billion deficit.
The wait continues.
Reports indicated that the leadership in both houses would push for a vote on the elimination of redevelopment in today's 9 a.m. floor sessions. The vote on the mirror bills SB 77 and AB 101 has been anticipated for two weeks as Gov. Jerry Brown has attempted to shore up support for his budget package, including some $12 billion in taxes.
Those sessions have come and gone.