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California Lawmakers Mull Cap-And-Trade Spending

  
Results of California’s latest cap-and-trade quarterly auction are due out on Tuesday. But lawmakers are still discussing how to spend auction proceeds that have been accumulating since the last fiscal year. 

The auction portion of the state’s greenhouse gas reduction program has raised $4 billion so far. State law requires 60 percent of that money go to high-speed rail, low carbon transit and affordable housing.

It’s the discretionary $1.4 billion that’s been, according to some environmental groups, “collecting dust.” The state Senate proposal this week to spend $1.2 billion on clean cars, urban forestry and energy upgrades is welcome news to Alvaro Sanchez with the Greenlining Institute.

“The fact that the Senate is now putting something on the table to be negotiated is actually the thing that’s changed the most. So there’s actually movement on getting this budget approved, which would mean a lot to low-income families in California.”

Twenty-five percent of all the auction proceeds from cap-and-trade go to disadvantaged communities.