Governor's executive order on greenhouse gas emissions evokes controversy
By Gary Brodeur, May 8, 2015
PALM DESERT — A few tweaks will have to be made in a
long-range plan being fashioned by regional transportation planners —
and it's because of a controversial environmental order issued last
In draft development, Southern California
Association of Governments' "2016-2040 Regional Transportation
Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy Scenarios and Performance
Outcomes" now requires some modifications to conform to Gov. Jerry
Brown's Executive Order on greenhouse gas reduction, a local official
said. Issued by Brown April 29, its goal is to reach a carbon-emissions
target of 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
executive order is touted by the governor's office as "the most
aggressive benchmark enacted by any government in North America to
reduce dangerous carbon emissions over the next decade and a half."
this order, California sets a very high bar for itself and other states
and nations, but it's one that must be reached — for this generation
and generations to come," Brown said in issuing the order.
those attending a panel discussion Friday on the regional draft plan at
SCAG's annual conference heard builders say the governor's order is the
worst thing ever to happen to the state, while environmentalists say it
is the best thing, Victorville Councilman and SCAG Regional Council
member Ryan McEachron said.
"There is a huge disconnect between the two sides," he said.
obviously plans to respond, McEachron said, but it will come as part of
the RTP/SCS process. He said the executive order should not delay
development of the draft plan.
California regional plan, last updated in 2012, includes three
"promising" proposals that follow a value-pricing concept for managing
regional transit. The proposals "can improve travel conditions in the
region and provide associated economic and public health benefits," SCAG
says on its website.
SCAG says prospective
transportation elements include a network of express lanes, which
connects and expands express lanes already in place or in progress and
that can accommodate growing inter-county travel; cordons in areas where
there is dense, mixed-use development and transit capacity, and a
mileage-based motorist fee to establish a solid funding source for
taking care of aging infrastructure and expanding travel options.
Friday morning segment of the 50th anniversary conference also included
a roundtable panel presentation by the association's three permanent
executive directors, present Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata and former
directors Ray Remy and Mark Pisano. They retraced steps taken by SCAG
in the past and looked at how the association hopes to contribute to the
Southern California lifestyle in the future, McEachron said.
The conference was held at JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa.
draft 2016-40 RTP/SCS is scheduled for release in the fall; information
about it can be found at www.scag.ca.gov and searching for "2016 RTP
Development." A schedule of public workshops on the draft plan will be