FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 10, 2024
Contact: Michael Blenner, firstname.lastname@example.org
Governor Newsom’s Budget Proposal Cuts Vital Climate Resiliency Funding but Preserves Investment in Environmental Conservation
Sacramento, CA - Today, Governor Gavin Newsom released his 2024-2025 state budget proposal, which delays and reduces investment in building decarbonization, transportation, and water resiliency funding, but preserves important funding for climate initiatives and eliminates some oil and gas subsidies, which will help the state achieve its land and water preservation goals and transition away from reliance on fossil fuels.
The Governor committed to maintaining $48 billion in climate priorities out of the initial $54 billion over five years that it proposed over the last three budget cycles. Given the statewide economic downturn, this is an important achievement for environmental and environmental justice advocates who worked tirelessly to preserve this important funding.
However, the Governor’s proposal cuts hundreds of millions of dollars of funding from critical community programs including the Equitable Building Decarbonization initiatives and the Extreme Heat and Community Resilience program. There are also significant delays to ZEV programs and cuts to transportation, many of which will disproportionately impact equity programs and harm vulnerable communities that are most at risk from the effects of climate change. The budget also cuts over $700 million in water-related investments, including for watershed and climate resilience programs, water recycling and groundwater cleanup, as well as funding aimed at addressing PFAS pollution and dam safety.
The budget does maintain $1.4 billion for nature based solutions that are essential to help California achieve the Governor’s commitment to conserve 30% of land and coastal waters by 2030. The proposal also eliminates some of the unnecessary subsidies to oil and gas corporations, which is a major step towards reducing the handouts big oil receives for its continued pollution.
Statement from Jason John, Acting Director of Sierra Club California:
“Governor Newsom’s commitment to upholding core climate, clean air, and water investments from previous budget cycles is pivotal to advance the state’s environmental goals. Sierra Club California is committed to working together to safeguard and enhance these investments.
However, the Governor’s proposal to delay or reduce crucial funding for climate resilience, transportation, and building decarbonization programs will undermine support for vulnerable California communities at a time when they are most at risk from the impacts of the climate crisis. It is imperative that we prioritize funding for our most at-risk communities. We will be working closely with our allies and the administration to identify resources that will help bridge the gap for these important investments.”
Sierra Club California is the legislative and regulatory arm of Sierra Club’s 13 local chapters in California, representing half a million members and supporters.