Gov. Jerry Brown recently unveiled a $1.25 billion plan to spend the money raised from California’s cap and trade program. It would put millions of electric cars on the roads, clear tinder from the state’s flammable forests, and replace exhaust-belching motors with cleaner engines. But, according to critics, it wouldn’t do enough for Californians hardest hit by fossil-fuel pollution.
Parin Shah, senior strategist for the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, says that California needs to curb vehicle emissions but “what we’d really like to see is money going to programs that have direct benefit to the Californians who have most suffered from the fossil fuel economy.” For instance, installing sensors to watch for harmful pollutants in befouled neighborhoods, or paying for insulation for low-income people to cut their power bills.
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