CA4HSR Calls for Using Cap and Trade Revenues for HSR
We encourage you to strongly consider applying a significant portion of Cap and Trade revenues to California’s high‐speed rail project as part of the overall investment in public transportation. There is a great opportunity to match any Cap and Trade funds with remaining Proposition 1A bond funds, essentially doubling any committed funds.
Specifically, Californians For High Speed Rail believes that Cap and Trade funds can provided critical funds to close the passenger rail gap between Bakersfield and Palmdale. With approximately $4 billion remaining in Proposition 1A after the initial construction in the Central Valley and early investments in the urban “bookends”, Cap and Trade funds along with any other possible funding sources being considered could be used to complete this critical link in the State’s rail system.
The California HSR system was estimated to be able to reduce carbon emissions by as much as 12 billion tons per year. That’s one reason why CARB included HSR as part of their scoping plan for meeting the AB 32 goal of reducing carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 – just seven years away.
AB 32 cap-and-trade revenues ought to be spent on things that will help reduce carbon emissions. The high speed rail project does that, and so it is a sensible recipient of some of the funding – especially because, as CA4HSR’s letter points out, the cap-and-trade funds will be leveraged with Prop 1A money to double the investment.
It’s a sensible thing to do, and I hope CARB, Governor Jerry Brown, and the state legislature agree to this request.