BATWG is a non-profit corporation organized in 2012 by a group of experienced transportation professionals and activists. Mostly volunteers, we are dedicated to working with like-minded groups to improve the reliability and appeal of the Bay Area’s passenger rail and bus systems. Recognizing the damage that will occur if California doesn’t become more effective in reducing GHG production, BATWG has recently focused more on the disparity between what agencies write in their reports and what actually gets done on the ground. It’s from this perspective that we have reviewed CARB’s Draft 2022 Progress Report.
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The Report Section entitled: Is California Meeting SB 375 Climate Goals says “California is still not reducing GHG emissions from personal vehicle travel as [called for in] SB375. Per capita GHG emissions and per capital VMT continued to increase, though more slowly than in [CARB’s] 2018 Progress Report.”
The section entitled “What is Happening on the Ground” is mainly a recounting of how things are progressing in California, which in so far as the objectives of Senate Bill 375 are concerned, are clearly going in the wrong direction.
It is followed by a Section entitled: “What has been Done that Supports Implementation”. This section is mostly a recitation of the legislative and agency goals and objectives put forth to bring about the necessary GHG reductions.
Included in this is a summary of the Strategic Growth Council’s (SGC’s) February 2022 report to the State Legislature. The SGC report is mostly a regurgitation of past plans to address the problem, followed by the legislative and administrative changes still needed to get things going. The SGC goes on to say: “But there is a gap between the vision for a more climate friendly and equitable transportation system on the one hand and infrastructure spending decisions on the other”.
On Page 57, in the section entitled “Conclusion”, CARB lauds SB375 for defining the problems that need resolution, but then adds that without needed but so far unapproved legislative changes, CARB lacks the tools it needs to “implement the strategies needed to get to our goals. By authorizing and creating the tools we need, we can expect progress in this area before time runs out”.
BATWG’s follow up questions would be: How much time is there before “time runs out”? Fifty years after its establishment what tools does CARB still need to get on top of the situation? What is needed from the State Legislature? Is there an up-to-date compendium of the needed legislative changes? Which entities other than CARB are needed to help implement the needed changes? Is the lapse between the objectives and what is actually being done on the ground because the agencies aren’t cooperating or for some other reason? How long will it take for CARB and the other relevant agencies to get the job done?