Governor Jerry Brown has finally signed “Historic Clean Transportation Bill”, which is also known as “Assembly Bill 8”. The bill is said to be a measure that will meet the clean air goals of the state and at the same time create thousands of jobs. Accordingly, this measure will extend throughout 2023 with its incentive programs.
According to CALSTART, there are extended programs contained in the AB 8. These are the Assembly Bill 118 or Clean Fuel and Vehicle Programs, the Carl Moyer and the Assembly Bill 923 or Local Air District Funds, which are aimed for the reduction of diesel emission.
The incentive programs that will be extended through 2023 will have more than $2 billion in funding for the clean air and transportation in California, which passed through a partisan vote of 29-6. When passed, the bill garnered two-thirds of the majority. The movement was supported by major industries. Aside from CALSTART, California Air Pollution Control Officers Association (CAPCOA) and the American Lung Association in California showed support through co-sponsoring Assembly Bill 8. In addition, over 100 civic, environmental organizations and businesses showed support to the AB 8. Moreover, other groups that backed AB 8 include the Environmental Defense Fund, the California Farm Bureau and the California Trucking Association.
“The collaborative effort that culminated in the passage of Assembly Bill 8 affirms that the need for clean transportation, innovation and clean air reaches across party lines and regional borders. California is sending a message that we are committed to being the center for 21st century transportation investment and jobs,” said Senator Pavley.
The President and CEO of CALSTART John Boesel said, “CALSTART and its 150 clean transportation tech member companies are extremely impressed and appreciative of the policy leadership from Assembly member Perea and Senator Pavley, as well as Governor Brown. We were proud to have co-sponsored this legislation along with our very capable partners: The American Lung Association in California and the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association (CAPCOA). This investment by the state will greatly increase the chances that all Californians will be able to breathe clean air and that we will continue to be a leader in preventing climate change and creating clean transportation tech jobs in California.”
He further added, “This legislation authored by Assemblyman Perea and Senator Pavley is historic. It represents an unprecedented commitment by the state to help fleets and consumers transition to cleaner and lower carbon fuels and vehicles. If signed by the governor, this legislation will create tens of thousands of jobs in California’s clean transportation tech industry and set us on a course to meet our clean air and climate goals.”
Assembly Bill 8, co-authored by Assembly member Henry T. Perea and Senator Fran Pavley, with its extended programs, can provide a funding of more than $2 billion. The funding is targeted to provide help for fleets and consumers in purchasing construction equipment, clean and low carbon trucks, buses and cars. It is also included in the program to allocate funds for the construction of fueling infrastructure, which will support the long awaited introduction of zero emission hydrogen fuel cell cars.
“The Governor’s signature on AB 8 means California can reduce its emissions, while continuing to partner with the business community to help them meet the State’s clean air goals. Supporting emerging advanced transportation technology is a win for California,” said Assembly member Perea.
In summary, Assembly Bill 8 is considered as California’s largest state finance, which is committed to provide cleaning in its transportation sector. Thanks to CALSTART, a non-profit organization promoting the growth of the clean transportation technology industry, and its 150 member companies for the effort in passing the bill. Among all its programs, it also manages a range of high-impact programs for the industry together with its partners in the government.
An excerpt from the bill concerning Hydrogen Fueling Stations: “This bill would provide that the state board has no authority to enforce any element of its existing clean fuels outlet regulation or other regulation that requires or has the effect of requiring any supplier, as defined, to construct, operate, or provide funding for the construction or operation of any publicly available hydrogen-fueling station. The bill would require the state board to aggregate and make available to the public, no later than June 30, 2014, and every year thereafter, the number of hydrogen-fueled vehicles that motor vehicle manufacturers project to be sold or leased over the next 3 years, as reported to the state board, and the number of hydrogen-fueled vehicles registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles through April 30. The bill would require the commission to allocate $20 million annually, as specified, until there are at least 100 publicly available hydrogen-fueling stations in California. The bill, on or before December 31, 2015, and annually thereafter, would require the commission and the state board to jointly review and report on the progress toward establishing a hydrogen-fueling network that provides the coverage and capacity to fuel vehicles requiring hydrogen fuel that are being placed into operation in the state, as specified. The bill would authorize the commission to design grants, loan incentive programs, revolving loan programs, and other forms of financial assistance, as specified, for purposes of assisting in the implementation of these provisions. The bill would repeal the above provisions on January 1, 2024. The bill, no later than July 1, 2014, would require the state board, in consultation with air pollution control and air quality management districts, to convene working groups to evaluate the specified policies and goals of specified programs. The bill would add intelligent transportation systems as a category of projects eligible for funding under the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program. The bill would require the commission and the state board, in making awards under both the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program and the Air Quality Improvement Program, to provide a preference to projects with higher benefit-cost scores, as defined.”