In 2012, the Legislature and Governor Brown established the Greenhouse Gas Reduction (GHG) Fund to receive proceeds from California’s Cap and Trade auctions and to provide a framework for how the auction proceeds will be administered.
The proposed state budget for 2013–14 included administration priorities for investment, emphasizing the transportation and energy sectors from which large reductions in GHG emissions are possible. In addition, areas to be examined during the planning process include sustainable agriculture practices (including the development of bioenergy), forest management and urban forestry, and the diversion of organic waste to bioenergy and composting.
The state held public workshops, received input from a diverse group of stakeholders and coalitions, and completed a three-year investment plan based on this input. The plan identifies priority programs for investment — primarily to and through local communities for ready-to-go projects and programs that reduce GHGs, support local economies, and create jobs.
However, in May 2013, the funds were transferred to the General Fund with assurances of repayment to the GHG Reduction Fund so the investment plans can be realized next year. SNC, along with a diverse set of stakeholders and individuals statewide, remain hopeful that the repayment will happen as promised and much-needed funds can be put to work in our communities as soon as possible.