SACRAMENTO, California, May 24, 2017 (ENS) - The California Air Resources Board has launched an easy-to-use website that demonstrates how $680 million in proceeds from the state's cap-and-trade program is funding a wide variety of ultra-clean and zero-emission trucks, buses, cars and low-carbon transportation projects throughout California.
Called Moving California, the website, www.arb.ca.gov/movingca, offers tools to help drivers and others find funding and transportation opportunities that meet their individual needs. The site is fully responsive and accessible on mobile devices.
“Moving California is a user-friendly website that provides clear guidance to consumers and communities about how they can be part of the exciting transformation in California to zero-emission and ultra-clean cars, trucks and buses,” said Air Resources Board Executive Officer Richard Corey.
“It also highlights the successes of these programs," said Corey, "showing how proceeds from the cap-and-trade program are improving the quality of life of individuals and neighborhoods throughout California."
The Low Carbon Transportation program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment - particularly in disadvantaged communities.
To date more than $600 million in cap-and-trade investments have helped deliver 115,000 zero-emission and plug-in cars; 46 heavy duty zero-emission trucks; 950 zero-emission delivery, utility and refuse trucks; 407 zero-emission transit buses, shuttles and light rail cars; and 29 electric school buses in California.
Under cap-and-trade, an overall limit on greenhouse gas emissions from capped sectors is established by the cap-and-trade program, and facilities subject to the cap can trade permits, known as allowances, to emit greenhouse gases.
The first six of the 29 electric school buses from Lion Bus and Trans Tech were unveiled May 10 by the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.
“We are thrilled that our partnership with Motiv Power Systems allows us to bring our all-electric eSeries to Sacramento County and the state of California,” said Trans Tech President John Phraner.
“The eSeries is a tremendous complement to our proven lineup of fuel-efficient conventional school buses," said Phraner. "Combining our signature aerodynamic design with the Motiv Power Systems powertrain and Ford E450 chassis provides customers interested in an all-electric Type A school bus the best choice on the market.”
Lion Bus is the only all-electric type C school bus manufacturer in North America.
The largest electric school bus deployment in the United States, the buses will serve students in three Sacramento County school districts on routes that run primarily through disadvantaged communities. The project was funded in part by a $7.5 million grant through California Climate Investments.
“You have the first deployment of electric buses in the nation here, the biggest one in the whole nation,” said Larry Greene, executive director of the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, told CBS News.
“They’re so quiet, that below 15 miles per hour they have to play music so that somebody will know that they are coming,” Greene said.
Another $10 million from California Climate Investments is funding the Rural School Bus Pilot Project, which targets the turnover of older school buses by providing funds for zero-emission and cleaner-burning buses.
"This pilot project will help smaller school districts get rid of older, dirty school buses and replace them with ultra-clean and zero-emission models,” said CARB Chair Mary Nichols. “Thanks to funds from the sale of the state's share of cap-and-trade allowances, schoolchildren will not only be helping to fight global warming, they will also be breathing less smog and cancer-causing air pollution."
The website was designed so users are never more than two clicks away from the information they need.
It provides education and awareness of clean transportation options, along with downloadable fact sheets, and a listing of community events.
The site also provides information on available funding programs and potential co-benefits for businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies.
Moving California highlights many ongoing projects such as the innovative new zero-emission car-sharing programs in disadvantaged neighborhoods, low-carbon agricultural worker van-pools in the San Joaquin Valley, and pilot projects to help low-income consumers afford the cleanest vehicles on the market.
The website also features testimonials from community members who have benefited from these programs.
A state law known as AB 32 identifies a cap-and-trade program as one of the strategies California will employ to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.
This program will help put California on the path to meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020, and ultimately achieving an 80 percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2050.
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has designed a California cap-and-trade program that is enforceable and meets the requirements of AB 32. The development of this program included a multi-year stakeholder process and consideration of potential impacts on disproportionately impacted communities. The program starts on January 1, 2012, with an enforceable compliance obligation beginning with the 2013 GHG emissions.
California is working closely with British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba through the Western Climate Initiative to develop harmonized cap and trade programs that will deliver cost-effective emission reductions.
PHOTO: Lion electric school bus at the California State Capitol in Sacramento (Photo courtesy Lion Bus)