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Governor's Possible Budget Move on Cap and Trade Gets Mixed Reactions

Jan 6, 2014

file photo
Credit California High Speed Rail Authority

Environmental groups are reacting to the possibility that California Governor Jerry Brown’s budget may propose using cap and trade revenue for High Speed Rail. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the state has generated $530 million from the greenhouse gas emissions reduction program.

Environmentalists are split on whether the money raised from carbon auctions should be used for High Speed Rail. Governor Brown, who will release his proposed budget Friday, has pitched the $68 billion rail project as an environmentally-friendly alternative to cars.  Dan Jacobson with Environment California agrees.

Jacobson: “I think it’s a good idea because what we need to move toward is electrifying the transportation system as a whole. And being able to reduce the amount of carbon that goes into moving us from point A to point B is what high speed rail does.”

But the governor upset environmentalists last year by taking a $500 million loan from cap-and-trade revenues to balance the state’s books. Some environmental groups say high speed rail is an inappropriate use of funds. They say that money should be used on projects that will reduce greenhouse gases now.