Carbon fee & dividend in action: Canadians now get quarterly checks, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, July 27, 2022

From the Citizens’ Climate Lobby July 27, 2022 Weekly Briefing:

Good news: Our neighbors to the north are perfecting their carbon fee and dividend policy! As of this month, Canadians have begun receiving their first quarterly dividend checks from the country’s carbon fee. Before now, Canadians received a rebate on their annual taxes. Moving forward, they will receive direct cash payments.

“The first payment will include the first two quarters of the year,” the Global News reported. “Single adults will receive $269.50. A family of four can expect to receive $539.50.” The next quarterly dividend checks, officially called “Climate Action Incentive” payments, will be sent in October and January.

The Sudbury Star spoke with Citizens’ Climate’s own Cathy Orlando, who said, “Receiving checks from pollution pricing is literally a dream come true. I want to take this moment to thank all the unsung heroes who made this happen in Canada.”

Many of those unsung heroes are CCL volunteers, who have worked for years to help bring about this day. Canada first announced its plan for a nationwide carbon fee and dividend in 2016, and the policy went into effect in 2019. Canada announced the move to quarterly dividends in Jan. 2021, and our volunteers were crucial in making that happen.

New building codes include climate change mandates, Sacramento Business Journal, July 17, 2022

Starting in January, most new commercial construction in California will be required to install some solar generation and battery storage, along with heat pump technology, as the state moves toward its zero-carbon goals.

The new 2022 building standards mandate, approved by the California Energy Commission, adds to the renewable solar mandate that went into effect in January 2020 for all new single-family residential construction.

Click here to read the article in full.

Transportation measure comes under fire in some circles, Sacramento Business Journal, July 15, 2022

This fall, Sacramento County voters will weigh in on a sales tax measure with a cornucopia of proposed boosting for local transportation: road fixes, transit improvements and more.

One proposed use of measure proceeds, though, has drawn criticism in some corners, including from a regional transportation planning agency. About 11.5% of all annual tax revenues would be allocated to Caltrans for state highway improvements and to the Capital Southeast Joint Powers Authority for the Capital Southeast Connector project.

To groups like the Environmental Council of Sacramento, the latter project is out of line with smart growth.

“We feel it’s inducing sprawl and vehicle miles traveled,” said Ralph Propper, a past president of ECOS and chair of its climate change committee. “It wouldn’t meet state mandates.”

Click here to read the article in full.

Sacramento region secures $50 million for Sacramento Valley Station and Regional Transit improvements, Sacramento City Express, July 12, 2022

The city of Sacramento will see transportation improvements in the coming year after receiving $49.9 million in funding from the California State Transportation Agency’s Transit and Intercity Rail Capitol Program.

The award went to a regional partnership led by Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) and its project partners, the City of Sacramento, Sacramento Regional Transit (SacRT), Downtown Railyard Ventures and Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG).

Click here to read more.

The Supreme Court Dealt a Terrible Blow to Children’s Health, NYTimes, July 9, 2022

Climate change and air pollution — both largely driven by fossil fuel emissions — inflict a huge toll on the health of children. This is especially true within low-income communities and communities of color. The recent Supreme Court decision, West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, that curtails the E.P.A.’s power to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants will greatly exacerbate this harm.

Read the article at: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/09/opinion/environment/climate-change-supreme-court-epa-children-health.html

Q&A with Alberto Ayala, Director of Sacramento’s Air Quality District, SacTown Magazine, June 4, 2022

Alberto Ayala discusses “the growing threat of wildfire smoke, the urgent need to move away from fossil fuel engines, the “scary” results from a new study about the impact of air pollution on our brain health, and why we need to rethink transportation as we plan for a better post-pandemic world.”

On transportation:

“I wrote an essay five years ago, in which I pointed out that of the 40 biggest cities in the country, Sacramento and Las Vegas were the only two without any protected bike lanes and with no imminent plans to build them, whereas cities like New York, San Francisco and Chicago were racing to build hundreds of miles of protected bike lanes. And now five years later, we’re not much better off. And for reasons I don’t completely understand, the city just has not made that a priority when clearly, active transportation like biking and walking is going to be one of the ways that we move toward cleaner air. . . [and] where is the investment in transit? And how are we helping our public transit be the innovative transit of the future where you actually meet the needs of transportation for people?”

On the difference between ozone pollution and particle pollution:

“In Sacramento, like most urban regions, the most chronically difficult pollution problem is ozone pollution, not so much particle pollution, but clearly wildfires are changing that. Particle pollution is the smoke that you see from something like a wildfire, or the soot that comes out of a diesel truck. That black smoke is essentially a collection of these particles that come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Ozone pollution, in contrast, is the result of nitrogen oxide and volatile organic emissions often from the combustion of fossil fuels—fuel that burns in an internal combustion engine like in a gasoline car. In the presence of sunlight, they basically cook up in the atmosphere, and then they lead to ozone, also known as smog. So the difference is here we’re talking about gases, not particles.”

Click here to read the full article.