California Air Resources Board Meeting: Update to SB 375 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions

Photo Credit Climate Action Campaign

Photo Credit Climate Action Campaign

Photo Credit Climate Action Campaign

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On Thursday, March 22, Sierra Club and our partners at Environmental Health Coalition and Climate Action Campaign visited the Riverside County Administrative Center to tell the California Air Resources Board we want more ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets for the San Diego region. As it stands, the San Diego region has a target of reducing GHG emissions by 19%, but we believe this 19% target to be an artificially low target only slightly higher than SANDAG what was arguing for.

Turnout at the CARB meeting was fantastic, and the bus we rented for the event was full of staff and volunteers from Sierra Club and other great organizations. Unfortunately, the lazy 19% target was not raised, but board member Diane Takvorian proposed an amendment that would raise San Diego targets to 21%. Two board members voted in favor of the amendment, but it did not quite garner the votes necessary to pass.

Though we didn’t get everything we wanted, we managed to change the conversation about GHG reductions and nearly got an amendment passed that could have positively affected transportation in our region for generations to come. A split vote is very rare at CARB, and the fact that we engendered one shows the significant impact our presence had on the board. Had we not attended, no amendment would have been proposed and the ensuing lengthy conversation among board members would have never taken place.

And this is only the beginning. In the coming months, we will be continuing to push for clean air, public health, and public transit every chance we get. If you’re interested in seeing how you can help, please email us at join@sandac.org.

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Are you available on Thursday, March 22, to help Sierra Club secure clean air and a healthy environment for our region?

If so, we need your help. Read on for more information.

On March 22 in Riverside, the California Air Resources Board (also known as CARB) will be meeting to discuss an update to the SB 375 greenhouse gas emissions reduction for each region in California. As it stands, San Diego is responsible for a mere 19% reduction, significantly below what we can and should achieve to ensure high air quality and public health in our region. But since few have voiced opposition to SANDAG’s self-serving narrative that paints themselves as progressive and hard-working, CARB has little reason to demand more of them. The truth is that a 19% GHG reduction is a bare minimum that SANDAG has bargained CARB down to, as it allows SANDAG to continue their eco-unfriendly business-as-usual.

This March 22nd meeting is an opportunity for residents of San Diego County to stand up for their right to clean air. By attending and possibly speaking at the meeting, we can each give voice to concerns about climate change, air quality, and SANDAG’s regressive politics that hold our region back from the environmental progress much of the state is experiencing and benefiting from. And who knows, CARB may just decide to demand more from SANDAG and raise our targets. At the very least, we will make an impression that will be remembered and potentially reflected in the 2019 Regional Transportation Plan, a document that will shape the future of transportation and land use in San Diego for the next 30 years and onward – and the more Sierra Club members who attend, the more powerful our message will be.

The Sierra Club is offering a bus to take members to and from the event. It will be making three pick-ups in San Diego County, dropping us off in Riverside around 8:30AM, and departing Riverside no later than 3PM. There is more information about pick-up locations and the timeline below. The ride is free for all Sierra Club members, although we are asking for donations to help cover the cost of the bus. And if you donate $25 or more, you will receive a free Sierra Club T-shirt. Non-members are also welcome, but will have to pay a $25 fee to ride the bus.

If clean air and lower greenhouse gas emissions matter to you, please consider joining us on our trip to Riverside.

Tentative Bus Timetable:

Start and end the trip at:
Environmental Health Coalition
2727 Hoover Ave., Suite 202 , National City, CA 91950
Start at 6:00 am, return by 6:00 pm

Stop to pick up/drop off at:
Sierra Club Office
8304 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, Suite #101, San Diego, CA 92111
Estimated departure about 6:30 am

Stop to pick up/drop off at:
Park and Ride Lot 19 at I-15 and Highway 76
Estimated departure about 7:00 am

Riverside County Administrative Building
4080 Lemon Street, Riverside, CA 92501
Estimated arrival about 8:30 am, hearing starts at 9:00 am
Departure by 3:00 pm (earlier if hearing over sooner)

Reserve Your Seat on the Bus