The Clean Cars and Clean Air Act Detailed Summary:
Climate change is having a devastating and disruptive impact on California. Our state is increasingly experiencing record-setting wildfires, droughts, and extreme weather that ruin our air quality, damage California’s iconic natural beauty, destroy property, hurt our state’s economy, and cost lives.
The air quality in California has become among the worst in the world, posing a hazard to public health and ruining the quality of life in every region of the state. Californians and their families should be able to work, play and be outside without fearing for their health.
Californians deserve clean air.
In order to solve this crisis, we must act now to address two of the largest sources of GHG emissions and air pollution in our state: transportation and wildfires.
Clean Air CA – a coalition of environmental groups, public health advocates, firefighters, labor and businesses – is sponsoring the Clean Cars and Clean Air Act for the November 2022 ballot to address these issues. Current coalition members include Natural Resources Defense Council, California Environmental Voters, Coalition for Clean Air, California State Association of Electrical Workers (IBEW), CalFire Local 2881, Public Health Advocates, Lyft and many other organizations.
- The Act generates roughly $100 billion in sustained investment over the next 20 years for:
- Fighting and preventing wildfires
- Charging infrastructure for electric (EVs) and zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs)
- Subsidies to help consumers and organizations afford clean vehicles
- Regular audits by the State Auditor to ensure accountability and transparency
The Act generates this funding with a small 1.75% increase on personal income over $2 million to ensure the funding is provided by those who can afford it.
Current and proposed programs are not enough to address these issues. California must act now.
Funding: Sustained, Progressive and Accountable
The state independent Legislative Analyst’s Office projects the Act will generate roughly $3 – $4.5 billion annually for these programs. When increases in state GDP are factored in, the measure will produce roughly $100 billion over 20+ years in sustained investment.
The Act generates these funds by instituting a small 1.75% tax on personal incomes over $2 million, ensuring the funding comes from those who can afford it, not low- and middle-income families who are increasingly struggling with the cost of living in California. This means less than .1% of Californians will pay the tax increase. Impacts of climate change and wildfires have fallen particularly hard on low- and middle-income communities.
The Act requires biennial audits of all programs by the State Auditor to ensure the funds are spent effectively and efficiently.
All spending is in addition to existing ZEV and wildfire programs. Section 80209(a) of the Act specifically prohibits using the new moneys raised by the Clean Cars & Clean Air Act to replace existing funding sources for those same purposes. The state is further required to issue annual reports disclosing how the new funding is not being used to supplant existing funds.