Per a story in the LA Times, California has sucked up more than a billion dollars from the state economy via carbon taxes. It now has $1.6 billion in the bank waiting to be spent
…with next year’s budget proposal on the table, advocates and environmentalists remain anxious about what will become of the cache of funds raised through the state’s cap-and-trade program — created as part of the landmark 2006 law to combat climate change.
The money has been left unspent in the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.
By law, it must be used on programs to cut emissions — 60% is earmarked to pay for construction of a high-speed rail, affordable housing and other transportation programs. That portion already is being spent.
How does “affordable housing” qualify as an environmental issue?
But the remainder — which totals about $1.6 billion — is waiting for consensus between legislators and the governor on how it should be spent. (The cap-and-trade coffers have been bolstered because the program now applies to transportation fuels, which account for an estimated 40% of California’s carbon emissions.)
In the meantime, environmentalists say, key programs could be at risk. The state’s electric vehicle rebate program, for example, could run out of funds in April unless Brown and the Legislature sign off on new spending.
Electric vehicles are “clean” only if you pretend the electricity used to charge them is not generated with fossil fuels.