In February, Steinberg called for a carbon tax on fuel, something critics argued would hurt consumers at the gas pump.
He says his new proposal has many allies and fewer opponents.
Steinberg says in 2015, the state’s greenhouse gas reduction program could generate up to five billion dollars a year.
He wants 40-percent of the funds to go to affordable housing, 30-percent to mass transit, and 20 percent for high speed rail.
“We can put forward a comprehensive approach to climate change, and to clean infrastructure, and together with cap-and-trade a permanent source for rapid transit, that to me is the coin of the realm here,” says Steinberg.
A spokesman for the Senate Republican Caucus says some of the goals are laudable but any proposal that invests in high speed rail is problematic.