Governor's Possible Budget Move On Cap And Trade Gets Mixed Reactions

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Environmental groups are reacting to the possibility that California Governor Jerry Brown’s budget may propose using cap-and-trade revenue for High Speed Rail. The state has generated $530-million from the greenhouse gas emissions reduction program.

Environmentalists are split on whether the money raised from carbon auctions should be used for High Speed Rail.

Governor Brown, who will release his proposed budget Friday, has pitched the $68 billion rail project as an environmentally-friendly alternative to cars. 

Dan Jacobson, with Environment California, agrees.

“I think it’s a good idea because what we need to move toward is electrifying the transportation system as a whole," says Jacobson. "And being able to reduce the amount of carbon that goes into moving us from point A to point B is what high speed rail does.”

But the governor upset environmentalists last year by taking a $500 million loan from cap-and-trade revenues to balance the state’s books. Erica Morehouse is with the Environmental Defense Fund.

“We’re willing to consider it with an open mind along with other proposals and that that will be lens we’re looking at it through is, can it reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” she says.

But other environmental groups say high speed rail is an inappropriate use of funds. They say that money should be used on projects that will reduce greenhouse gases now.

 




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