Meeting the Challenges of the Climate Crisis

California’s cap-and-trade program is central to its fight against climate change. The program sets limits on carbon dioxide emissions and requires companies that exceed the limit to pay up. The money generated is used to fund clean energy projects specifically in San Bernardino and Riverside counties where we have some of the worst air pollution in the nation. I believe that we can build on the success of these programs by making the Inland Empire the green technologies and infrastructure hub for California.

California is the only state in the country that does not tax oil companies an extraction tax. Oil companies already pay this tax in Texas and Alaska, and should do so in California. However, rather than supplementing the general fund, the money should be used to reduce and ultimately eliminate the gas tax. The tax has made vital improvements in roads, but the people it hurts most are low-income workers with long commutes and few alternatives, like the residents of the Inland Empire.

We also must protect our water. We cannot strip water from our deserts to fill pools in wealthier parts of the state without destroying the fragile ecosystem. The extraction tax would also be applied to companies wishing to extract water from the state. This money could be used to shore up our water infrastructure.