California speeding toward fight over driving limits in age of climate change and electric cars

By Joshua Emerson Smith : sandiegouniontribune – excerpt

Top air-quality regulators at the state Capitol may be on a collision course with local power players when it comes to how frequently Californians should drive their cars in the state’s internationally lauded fight against climate change.

Many regional lawmakers and other officials have started pushing back on the notion that commuters need to limit their daily driving — which overwhelmingly consists of people cruising to work alone in their cars and trucks…

As the California Air Resources Board tightens its standards for greenhouse-gas emissions from regional transportation sectors, many local authorities have started arguing that adoption of electric vehicles will make it unnecessary to reign in so-called vehicle miles traveled, or VMT.

“I think it’s a very bad metric to hang our hat on,” said San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts, who also serves on the region’s premier transportation and planning agency, the San Diego Association of Governments, or SANDAG…

“We know that more needs to be done to make transportation more reliable and to reduce vehicle miles traveled across the state,” Mary Nichols, long-time chair of the air board, told members of the California Transportation Commission at a first-ever joint meeting in June…

“If everyone … had a zero-emission vehicle, give me the breakdown of how that would not help us meet our greenhouse-gas goals?” Commissioner Paul Van Konynenburg said at the gathering, seemingly somewhat perplexed…

While the air board is tasked with cleaning up pollution from vehicles, the commission is responsible for doling out nearly all of the transportation dollars in the state that aren’t locally controlled

The state celebrated last week when it announced that it had already satisfied its 2020 target years ahead of schedule, thanks largely to low-carbon fuel standards, renewable-energy requirements on electric utilities and a wet winter nearly two years ago that generated lots of low-carbon hydropower.

The news seemed to bolster the idea that efforts to fight climate change may not require people to radically shift their driving habits…

“You do transit or roads. You can’t do both,” she added. “It’s going to be a fight for the soul of our transportation future.”… (more)

Lots of arguments here for voters to have their say in the matter. The Gas Tax Repeal will give us a better picture of how the state wants to go. As we have recently learned there are states doing a better job of generating clean cheap energy. That does not seem to be the goal in California. The goal here is to tax and spend. The more the better. We need to look at the best way to produce clean cheap energy not how to incentivize behavior. As we found out with cap and trade, incentivizing is expensive and does not always work.



1 thought on “California speeding toward fight over driving limits in age of climate change and electric cars

  1. Now the real game begins. I have stated before that all transportation projects good ones and bad ones as well as tax free housing developments to add density to cities were all based on climate change. AB32 was passed in 2006. In 2008 SB375 was also passed. The lie was that SB375 was passed to help implement AB32 which led to the creation of plan Bay Area in 2013 and other regional plans around the state.

    This all stems from AB32 which is a law requiring the state greenhouse gas emissions to fall back to or bellow 1990 levels. In 2013 at the time of the creation of plan Bay Area we were close to reaching 1990 levels by 5%-10%. Today we have beaten the goal by 40%. Are greenhouse gas emissions are now 40% below 1990 levels. Plan Bay Area had a goal by the year 2020 to be complete. It has now been changed to 2030. Then in the future changed to 2040. It will not stop.

    So since we have reached are climate change goal of lowering or greenhouse gas emissions they are still full speed ahead with the anti car agenda and housing development. Why? Because climate change has been used as the boogie man. And this will continue completely changing ones way of life. As of today the banning of straws has been introduced. However, the banning of all plastic including utensils will be introduced. Taxes will be added/raised again for cleaning up the ocean. Soon they will be pushing hard on ocean pollution to accomplish this. They are not going to mention ocean clean up has already been happening with a device that sucks up plastics and will be complete over the next 6-7 years.

    Locally a paper cup tax will be introduced similar to the paper bag 10 cent fee. Single use cup fee.

    This is no longer about climate change. This is a complete restructure of life.

    Different note: lyft acquiring motivate was to save the sfmta time and money to be spent on all their projects. Sfmta will no longer be inspecting sites for bike share. It is all on lyft to do so creating plans turning them in etc. all the sfmta will be doing is accepting an application and fee and approving the plans.


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