Environmental groups have begun a lobbying campaign to stop California Governor Jerry Brown’s budget proposal to divert money from the cap-and-trade program.
Environmentalists say money from the sale of carbon pollution permits is supposed to go to programs that help further reduce emissions. Brown wants to borrow $500 million for the general fund.
Vien Truong with the Greenlining Institute says environmental advocates are angry. She says that money could be used for clean air programs in low-income communities.
“We thought we were moving in the right direction. We had a lot of people turn out at the hearings to say what the funds should be invested in. We had a lot of support and positive response from the administration. And we feel like the rug has been pulled out from underneath us,” says Truong.
Governor Jerry Brown’s administration says the money is a loan and does not count as an expenditure. It will be paid back to the fund with interest once programs are in place.