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Advocates, TransForm, Move L.A. Demand that Cap and Trade Funds Go For Cleaner Transportation

California Air Resources Board meets in Downtown Los Angeles. Photo: Ryan Wiggins

When California created a “cap and trade” system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions statewide, it was widely agreed the funds raised would be spent on programs that reduce these emissions in their own right. With nearly 40% of the state’s greenhouse gas coming from the transportation sector, it makes sense for a hearty investment in active transportation and transit.

Yet, according to Ryan Wiggins, the cap and trade Director for TransForm, many political figures and car-culture advocacy groups are arguing that cap and trade transportation dollars should go towards improving road conditions. By making it easier for vehicles to go faster, it will reduce the individual emissions of each vehicle. This logic is applied regularly when Caltrans and Metro officials argue about the need to widen freeways such as the 710 Big Dig Project or the never-ending 405 Widening Project in the Sepulveda Pass.

Yet many local advocates agree with Wiggins, that funding active transportation and transit need to be the priority when the state’s Air Resrouces Board (CARB) decides how to allocate its funds. Yesterday, CARB held a hearing in Downtown Los Angeles and advocates attended to make the case for a cleaner transportation network that creates transportation options and reduces emissions and transportation costs.

“ We need investment in transit, especially transit operating budgets, and active transportation infrastructure to support the GHG emission reduction goals of SB 375. Federal and state transportation funding has been stagnant and even declining for years”, said Denny Zane, Executive Director of Move LA. Read more…


Move LA Fundraiser Attracts 30/10 Movers, Asks “What’s Shakin?”

Denny Zane works the crowd while L.A. City Council Man Paul Koretz rocks a Hawaiian Shirt.  Photo: Carter Rubin

Denny Zane works the crowd while L.A. City Council Man Paul Koretz rocks a Hawaiian Shirt. Photo: Carter Rubin

On Sunday morning, transit reform champions Move LA hosted a garden party to raise money for its campaign to support Mayor Villaraigosa’s 30/10 plan and to enlist Los Angeles’ stalwart political activists in its efforts.  Held in the often traffic-swarmed West LA neighborhood of Brentwood, the event was organized by Streetsblog friend and Huffington Post transportation writer Joel Epstein.

Brought on board by Denny Zane this summer, Epstein is helping Move LA broaden nationally its coalition of labor, business, and environmental groups.  Expanding its clout beyond Southern California would help Move LA convince Washington to support the kinds of infrastructure financing reform – i.e. a national infrastructure bank – that could make 30/10 feasible, as well as benefit other localities hoping to take on similar projects.

The event featured an array of local leaders who came to pledge their support, including: US Rep. Jane Harman (D – Venice), CA State Assemblymember Mike Feuer (42nd Dist.), Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel, LA City Councilmember Paul Koretz, Inglewood Mayor Danny Tabor, and Santa Monica City Councilmember Terry O’Day. Read more…