BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 2293


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          Date of Hearing:  April 4, 2016


                       ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES


                                 Das Williams, Chair


          AB 2293  
          (Cristina Garcia) - As Amended March 29, 2016


          SUBJECT:  Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund:  Green Assistance  
          Program


          SUMMARY:  Creates the Green Assistance Program (GAP) within the  
          California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) to provide  
          assistance to small businesses and non-profits.  


          EXISTING LAW under the California Global Warming Solutions Act  
          of 2006 [AB 32 (Nunez), Chapter 488, Statutes of 2006]:


          1)Requires the Air Resources Board (ARB) to adopt a statewide  
            GHG emissions limit equivalent to 1990 levels by 2020 and  
            adopt regulations to achieve maximum technologically feasible  
            and cost-effective GHG emission reductions.

          2)Establishes the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF); requires  
            that all funds, except for fines and penalties, collected  
            pursuant to a market-based mechanism be deposited in the fund;  
            and requires the Department of Finance, in consultation with  
            ARB and any other relevant state agency, to develop a  
            three-year investment plan for the GGRF.  

          3)Requires that the GGRF be used to facilitate the achievement  








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            of GHG emissions reductions in the state consistent with AB 32  
            and the investment plan.  

          4)Requires the investment plan to allocate a minimum of 25% of  
            the funds to projects that benefit disadvantaged communities  
            and to allocate 10% of the funds to projects located within  
            disadvantaged communities.  

          5)Requires ARB, in consultation with CalEPA, to develop funding  
            guidelines for administering agencies receiving allocations of  
            the GGRF that include a component for how agencies should  
            maximize benefits to disadvantaged communities.  
          


          THIS BILL:
          1)Establishes the GAP within CalEPA to:


             a)   Provide technical assistance, including the development  
               of grant proposals, to small businesses and small nonprofit  
               organizations when they apply for GGRF money; 


             b)   Assist small businesses applying for funding for energy  
               efficiency upgrades to meet and exceed the state's GHG  
               emission reduction goals; 


             c)   Assist small businesses in complying with all applicable  
               federal, state, and local air quality laws; 


             d)   Identify state agencies with appropriate grant programs;  
               and,


             e)   Coordinate with existing local programs to reduce GHG  
               emissions with new programs receiving moneys from the GGRF.  








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          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown


          COMMENTS:  


          1)Existing GGRF funding and programs.  The 2014-15 Budget Act  
            allocated GGRF revenues for the 2014-15 fiscal year and  
            established a long-term plan for the allocation of GGRF  
            revenues beginning in fiscal year 2015-16.  Thirty-five  
            percent of GGRF is continuously appropriated for investments  
            in transit, affordable housing, and sustainable communities.   
            Twenty-five percent is continuously appropriated to continue  
            the construction of the high-speed rail project.  The  
            remaining 40% is subject to annual appropriation by the  
            Legislature for investments in programs that include  
            low-carbon transportation, energy efficiency and renewable  
            energy, and natural resources and waste diversion.  An  
            expenditure plan for the 40% was not included in the 2015-16  
            Budget Act, with the exception of $227 million appropriated to  
            continue funding for specified existing programs.  The  
            remaining 2015-16 revenues, along with 2016-17 revenues, are  
            available for appropriation this year.  



          The 2016 Annual Report of Cap and Trade Auction Proceeds  
            includes an analysis of funds spent within and benefiting  
            disadvantaged communities, excluding high speed rail spending.  
             According to the report, 39% of expenditures were for  
            projects located within disadvantaged communities and 51% of  
            the overall funding benefited disadvantaged communities.  
            Listed below are the major GGRF program areas, administering  
          agency, and funding to date:










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             a)   Transportation and Sustainable Communities


               i)     High Speed Rail, High Speed Rail Authority  
                 (Authority), $750 million


               ii)    Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program,  
                 Transportation Agency, $225 million


               iii)   Low Carbon Transit Operations Program, Department of  
                 Transportation (Caltrans), $125 million


               iv)    Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities  
                 Program, Strategic Growth Council (SGC), $530 million


               v)     Low Carbon Transportation, ARB, $325 million


             b)   Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency


               i)     Low-Income Weatherization Program, Community  
                 Services and Development (CSD), $154 million


               ii)    Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings, California  
                 Energy Commission (CEC), $20 million


               iii)   Agricultural Energy and Operational Efficiency,  
                 Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), $75 million


               iv)    Water-Energy Efficiency, Department of Water  
                 Resources (DWR), $75 million








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             c)   Natural Resources and Waste Diversion


               i)     Wetlands and Watershed Restoration, Department of  
                 Fish and Wildlife (DFW), $27 million


               ii)    Urban Forestry, Forest Health Restoration, and  
                 Reforestation, Department of Forestry and Fire Protection  
                 (CalFIRE), $42 million


               iii)   Waste Diversion, Department of Resources Recycling  
                 and Recovery (CalRecycle), $31 million


            The Governor's 2016-17 Budget proposes just under $3.1 billion  
          in expenditures:  


             d)   Continuous Appropriations


               i)     High Speed Rail, Authority, $500 million 


               ii)    Low Carbon Transit Operations, State Transit  
                 Assistance, $100 million 


               iii)   Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program,  
                 Transportation Agency, $200 million 


               iv)    Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities  
                 Program, SGC, $400 million 









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             e)   Fifty Percent Reduction in Petroleum Use 


               i)     Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program,  
                 Transportation Agency, $400 million 


               ii)    Low Carbon Road Program, Caltrans, $100 million 


               iii)   Low Carbon Transportation and Fuels, ARB, $500  
                 million 


               iv)    Biofuel Facility Investments, CEC, $25 million 


             f)   Local Climate Action 


               i)     Transformative Climate Communities, SGC, $100  
                 million 


             g)   Short-Lived Climate Pollutants 


               i)     Black Carbon Woodsmoke and Refrigerants, ARB, $60  
                 million 


               ii)    Waste Diversion, CalRecycle, $100 million 


               iii)   Climate Smart Agriculture - Healthy Soils and Dairy  
                 Digesters, CDFA, $55 million 










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             h)   Safeguarding California/Water Action Plan 


               i)     Water and Energy Efficiency, CDFA and DWR, $30  
                 million 


               ii)    Drought Executive Order, CEC, $60 million 


               iii)   Wetlands and Watershed Restoration/CalEcoRestore,  
                 DFW, $60 million 


             i)   Safeguarding California/Carbon Sequestration 


               i)     Healthy Forests and Urban Forestry, CalFIRE, $180  
                 million 


               ii)    Urban Greening, Natural Resources Agency, $20  
                 million 


             j)   Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy 


               i)     Energy Efficiency for Public Buildings, Department  
                 of General Services, $30 million 


               ii)    California Lending for Energy and Environmental  
                 Needs Center, I Bank, $20 million 


               iii)   Energy Corps, Conservation Corps, $15 million 










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               iv)    Energy Efficiency Upgrades/Weatherization,  
                 Department of Community Services and Development, $75  
                 million 


               v)     Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects,  
                 University of California, California State University,  
                 $60 million  


          2)Author's statement: 


               While cap and trade proceeds are starting to make their way  
               into some of the disadvantaged communities, it has become  
               apparent there are barriers that prevent the funding from  
               getting into many of the places it is needed. Small  
               businesses and small non-profits lack the resources of the  
               larger counterparts. They can lack the staffing and  
               expertise necessary to take advantage of grant  
               opportunities. AB 2293 will help level the playing field by  
               providing technical assistance necessary to compete for cap  
               and trade grants. 





               The benefits of the California's cap and trade program  
               should be accessible to all parts of the state, no matter  
               how small they are. The ability to access these funds  
               should not depend on upon the ability the pay for the staff  
               to go after it.  


          3)Disadvantaged communities.  In October 2014, CalEPA released  
            its list of disadvantaged communities based on the California  
            Communities Environmental Health Screening Tool  
            (CalEnviroScreen), a tool that assesses all census tracts in  








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            California to identify the areas disproportionately burdened  
            by and vulnerable to multiple sources of pollution.  Each of  
            the programs administering funds from the GGRF have separate  
            guidelines and grant proposal request documents on their  
            respective websites.  Eligibility criteria and application  
            processes vary, as do recommendations about working with the  
            administering agency to develop proposals or applications.   
            For those small organizations lacking experience in this area,  
            assistance such as that proposed by this bill may help them  
            successfully apply for and utilize available funding.  


          4)Suggested amendment.  This bill includes "assisting" small  
            businesses with complying with federal, state, and local air  
            quality laws.  The committee may wish to amend the bill to  
            authorize the GAP to instead "advise" small businesses in  
            complying with existing laws.  


          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:




          Support


          California Greenworks




          Opposition


          None on file











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          Analysis Prepared by:Elizabeth MacMillan / NAT. RES. / (916)  
          319-2092