New California law aims to cut CO2 emissions by discouraging sprawl
A brand new law in California, signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) Tuesday night, aims to cut greenhouse-gas emissions in the state by discouraging sprawl. The influential California Air Resources Board will develop GHG-reduction goals for different regions in the state within the next two years and then regional planning agencies will compete for billions of dollars in state transportation funds, with priority given to communities that are denser, closer to employment centers, and along public-transportation routes. To sweeten the deal for builders, housing projects that comply with the smarter growth plans will be largely exempt from the state’s strict environmental reviews. “What this will mean is more environmentally friendly communities, more sustainable developments, less time people spend in their cars, more alternative transportation options, and neighborhoods we can safely and proudly pass on to future generations,” Schwarzenegger said. Another bill that was vetoed by the governor Tuesday would have imposed a $60-per-container fee on goods coming into the busy ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Oakland to fund pollution- and traffic-reduction measures.