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California Legislature passes $1.5B California Clean Air Initiative to cut emissions; $895M for mobile sources

The California state legislature has passed a set of bills (AB 134 and AB 109) providing $895 million towards programs that will reduce air pollution from mobile sources which are responsible for 40% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Titled the “California Clean Air Initiative,” the bills will invest the bulk of available discretionary revenue (the 40% of cap-and-trade revenue not previously allocated by statute) through incentives to replace old, high-polluting diesel engines in heavy trucks and buses; provide rebates to help low- and middle-income families purchase new and used zero-emission vehicles; and promote zero-emission car-sharing and agricultural van pool programs, among others. The Clean Air Initiative marks the single largest investment in clean air in state history.

The two bills amend the budget act to include the 2017 Greenhouse Gas Revenue Expenditure Plan which reflects the broad portfolio of investments intended to complement the policy work of AB 398 (Eduardo Garcia), Chapter 135, Statutes of 2017, and AB 617(Cristina Garcia), Chapter 136, Statutes of 2017.

Accounting for continuous appropriations, California expects to spend $2.4 billion of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds (GGRF) in 2017-18, with $1.5 billion of GGRF and $78.3 million of other special funds contained in the expenditure plan in SB 93/AB 109 and AB 134 (Budget Committee)/ SB 119 (Budget and Fiscal Review Committee) of the current legislative session.

AB 134. Specifically, AB 134 appropriates $900 million Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund revenue to the Californiafornia Air Resources Board for an array of programs including:

  • a) $250 million for Carl Moyer program funding for the South Coast, San Joaquin Valley, and Bay Area Air Quality management districts.

  • $180 million for Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Program, of which at least $35 million is allocated for zero-emission buses. It also requires the Air Resources Board to consider technologies innovations in heavy duty trucks, like natural gas vehicles, that reduce diesel truck emissions.

  • $140 million for the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program for rebates for light-duty vehicles. This also requires the Air Resources Board and Labor and Workforce Development Agency to develop procedures for certifying manufacturing of vehicles included in the program as being fair and responsible in the treatment of their workers. It also applies income eligibility restrictions on this program of $150,000 for single filers, $204,000 for head of household, and $300,000 for joint filers.

  • $140 million for equipment and improvements at ports, including for projects for ships at birth.

  • $100 million for Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program and light duty equity pilot projects like agricultural vanpools.

  • $85 million for agriculture equipment and tractor replacement.

  • $5 million for technical assistance for environmental justice communities.

AB 134 also appropriates $10 million from the General Fund for financial aid, with $1 million to the University of California and $2 million to California State University to further support the Dream Loan program. It redirects $7 million from deferred maintenance at California Community Colleges to provide emergency financial aid to Dream Act students.

AB 109. AB 109 is less focused on mobile source emissions. It appropriates $621.7 million of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund for various investments to fight climate change, mitigate the immediate impact on California, and begin the process of adapting to the long-term impacts of climate change. These investments include:

  • $200 million for healthy forests and fire prevention in State Responsibility areas, of which $5 million shall be used for activities of the California Conservation Corp;

  • $25 million for fire prevention grants to localities in High Risk Fire Areas;

  • $99 million for methane reduction programs, including dairy digesters research and development and alternative manure management programs. These investments must comply with siting requirements applied to digester projects awarded in the 2016-17 fiscal year.

  • $60 million for energy efficiency funding for agricultural entities, including food processors.

  • $6 million for renewable energy projects related to agriculture.

  • $40 million for waste diversion and recycling infrastructure.

  • $10 million for the Transformative Climate Communities program.

  • $26 million for urban greening.

  • $20 million for urban forestry.

  • $18 million for low income weatherization for multi-family, solar, and farmworker residential units.

  • $15 million for wetland restoration.

  • $26 million for adaptations activities, with $20 million for natural land adaptation and $6 million for coastal adaptation.

  • $11 million for competitive grants for research related to climate change, clean energy, and adaptation.

  • $80 million to backfill State Responsibility Area funds for fire protection in local areas. This bill includes a provision to appropriate these funds prior to the application of the continuous appropriation of Greenhouse Gas Reduction funds for the budget year.

  • $11.7 million for statewide implementation costs.

The bill also appropriates $78.3 million of other special funds for activities related to the 2017 Greenhouse Gas Expenditure Plan, including $50 million for agricultural diesel replacement and upgrades, of which $35 million is from the Alternative and Renewable Fuels and Vehicle Technology Fund and $15 million is from Air Quality Improvement Fund.



They should have incentives for low income people to buy used EVs. Free tax, license and registration would be a good start.


Another hand to California for continued effective incentives to reduce local pollution and GHG for the benefit of all Californians and the world.

Joseph Wilder

CA could start by undoing the $100 extra tax on registering EVs.


The “California Clean Air Initiative,” will ... provide rebates to help low- and middle-income families purchase new and used zero-emission vehicles...


We need up front help, stop subsidizing the rich. Most low income people don't make enough to get tax credits.

SJC, as the article says, these are rebates, not tax credits.


"..provide rebates to help low- and middle-income families purchase new and used zero-emission vehicles.."

They don't say how much, lots of other items get most of the money. At present the state gives a $2500 tax credit for the rich buying Tesla cars. We can and should do MUCH better.

California limits rebate to single people who earn under $150k/yr.

California increases the rebate to $4,500 for low income people who would not qualify for Fed Tax credit.

When you say "We can and should do much better," what state are you writing from, SJC?

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