Bonding Over Climate Resilience
Governor Newsom is promoting a 5-Year Climate Budget of $12.5 billion, which includes a $4.75 billion Climate Resilience Bond measure to be placed on the November 2020 ballot, and a $1 billion Climate Catalyst Loan Fund. A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you are playing with real Carbonopoly money. Governor Newsom is doubling down on former Governor Brown’s ‘Pillars’ regarding getting off petroleum products and being diesel pollution free by 2030, 100% renewable energy by 2045, and no natural gas in new Net-Zero building construction. When it comes to the other pillars, Newsom is not bonding over mitigating methane and building healthy soils in the same way.
With billions of carbon money on the table, CARB updates the AB 32 Scoping Plan every five years to set policy and priorities, and each fiscal year CARB prepares a Funding Plan for the Low Carbon Transportation investment. The billion dollar Cap-and-Trade Program requires a 3-Year Investment Plan coupled with an Annual Report to the Legislature that highlights cost-effectiveness. The CEC adopts an Integrated Energy Policy Report every two years, an update every other year, and prepares an Annual Investment Plan update for their Clean Transportation Program. With the adoption of SB 1383 regulations and the mandate to construct over $3 billion in infrastructure, CalRecycle should prepare a 5-Year Investment Plan such as SB 667 (Hueso) proposed in his 2-year bill, and there should be a Scoping Plan for organic wastes such as AB 1567 (Aguiar-Curry) is proposing this year, building on AB 144 from last year.
Nowhere in the $4.75 billion Climate Resilience Bond is there mention of any SB 1383 programs. This bond money is more about adapting to climate change than mitigating climate change. With $12.5 billion over 5 years proposed for the State’s Climate Budget, only $15 million towards organic waste diversion is mentioned. There are several bills in play running with a $5 billion climate bond concept, where a large coalition of stakeholders is asking for $500 million for organic waste diversion. CalRecycle needs to pass GO and collect $100 million per year for five years. CalRecycle, what’s in your wallet?
It’s a Board game with CARB and the CEC preparing their Investment Plans for Low Carbon Transportation, where electrification is receiving priority funding leaving the CNG fleet transition at the curb. With over 60% of the statewide refuse fleet still on diesel, the CNG platform was gaining momentum with technology improvement with each iteration. Coupled with the Near-Zero NOx engine and in-state RNG use produced from SB 1383 organic wastes, you would think both CARB and CEC would embrace this elegant community-scale circular economy model that weaves all Five Pillars together. Instead, unproven electrification is being favored where fleet owners are considering keeping their diesel fleet and use renewable diesel with more NOx emissions. CARB and CEC are letting futuristic climate change policies get in the way of greenhouse gas and NOx reduction’s today. The electric refuse fleet will not pass GO, will not be able to collect organic wastes, and will be stuck at the Electric Company Board space with another power outage.