Governor Jerry Brown has used Fresno as the site to sign four bills Wednesday to direct hundreds of millions of dollars to help clean up the air in places like the Valley. The Central Valley could be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the funds from the anti-global warming effort.
The bills would send $900 million of cap and trade money to places with the dirtiest air and poorest communities in the state.
Signing the bills on top of a parking garage in downtown Fresno, Governor Jerry Brown says the money will help spur green jobs, create more clean transportation options, and improve overall health by reducing carbon pollution.
“The air is bad. And a lot of kids have asthma. A lot of the old people have bronchitis and other respiratory diseases. And you put this poison into the air and you can actually take it out,” Brown says.
The governor chose the site because it overlooks a number of clean air and transit projects such as the high-speed rail construction and the new bus rapid transit line.
Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin says they are already planning projects that she believes will jump-start private investment.
“So we have got about a thousand housing units. Mix income, mixed use, transit-oriented development projects that are in the pipeline today along the Fulton corridor area. We have got green space initiatives,” Swearengin says.
Other spending initiatives include clean vehicle rebates and $50 million to reduce methane emissions from cattle and dairy farms.