SOURCE: League of California Cities

December 11, 2008 20:05 ET

League of California Cities Applauds State Air Resources Board Action on Proposed State Climate Rule

Cities Argued for Consistency With Other Planning Programs, and Protection of Transit and Redevelopment Funding

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire - December 11, 2008) - California Air Resources Board (ARB) today voted unanimously to ensure that targets in the board's greenhouse gas reduction plan will be consistent with just-passed state legislation requiring regional transportation and air quality planning. The board's action was applauded by the League of California Cities, and representatives from many individual cities that travelled to Sacramento to testify on the plan.

League testimony was delivered by League of California Cities' First Vice President Ken Cooley, Council Member in the city of Rancho Cordova. A key concern for the cities was that the board might increase a proposed target of 5 million metric tons (MMT) of greenhouse gas emissions that local planning organizations must achieve by reducing regional transportation-related GHG. The League argued that the 5 MMT figure should not be increased further, in deference to the regional target setting process that was carefully negotiated as part of SB 375, the recently-passed landmark legislation on regional transportation planning by Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento).

"I'm here with my colleagues from other cities to let you know that we supported Sen. Darrell Steinberg's SB 375, because we believed that regional targets grounded in science, data and stakeholder participation was the right way to go," said Cooley.

"It would be a mistake for this board to make an arbitrary increase in the 5 MMT number at this time, before the SB 375 regional planning process had begun."

The Air Board later unanimously adopted a resolution as part of the Scoping Plan that recognized the role of the regional target setting process, but encouraging that the ultimate goals be "ambitious" and "achievable."

Cooley also reminded the board that cities are a willing partner in the state's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but their efforts are hampered by state budget actions that cut transit programs and take local redevelopment funds.

The League of California Cities has supported legislation to combat climate change, and many cities and other local agencies have embraced the challenge of reducing their carbon footprint. The League's research arm, the Institute for Local Government, has produced "best practices" tips for cities to use, and "greening strategies" are a key topic of discussion at League conferences and educational sessions. The positive response by cities and counties to the climate change issue was the subject of a study released last month by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Megan Taylor
    (916) 658-8228
    Cell (916) 705-6679

    1400 K Street, Suite 400
    Sacramento, California 95814
    Phone: (916) 658-8200
    Fax: (916) 658-8240
    www.cacities.org