Subcommittee Helps Direct How & Where $10-$20 Billion In Climate Change, Wildfire Prevention, & Environmental Protection Dollars Will Be Spent
SACRAMENTO – “A fantastic opportunity to move the climate change agenda forward and a responsibility to protect the environmental gains we’ve made over the past several years.” That’s how Senator Josh Becker (D-San Mateo) reacted to his appointment late Thursday to chair the Senate Budget Committee’s Subcommittee on Resources, Environmental Protection and Energy.
Commonly referred to as “Sub 2,” it is one of five subcommittees that make up the Senate Budget Committee, which Becker will also sit on by virtue of his appointment to chair Sub 2.
“We all know we’re facing a tough budget year, but we cannot afford to cut back on the investments we’ve really just started to make in terms of tackling climate change, setting up wildfire prevention measures, improving our water supply, and so much more,” continued Becker. “I want to play offense, I want to expand, I want to do so much more to push us to meet our 2045 deadline to achieve net zero emissions, but given the projected budget shortfall this year, playing defense to protect the gains we’ve made is going to be just as important.”
Sub 2 traditionally approves more than $12 billion in funding each year – though the climate packages of the last two years boosted that number to over $20 billion – reviewing, adjusting and approving the budgets of all state agencies dealing with natural resources, environmental protection, and energy issues. More specifically, it covers:
- The California Environmental Protection Agency, which includes the Air Resources Board and the State Water Resources Control Board
- The California Department of Food and Agriculture
- The California Energy Commission
- The Public Utilities Commission
- The California Natural Resources Agency, which includes the departments of Conservation, Fish and Wildlife, Parks and Recreation, and Water Resources
Many of these agencies are on the front lines of battling climate change by working to conserve and protect public lands and resources, planning for environmental change and disasters, and transitioning California’s electrical grid and agricultural sector to net zero emissions.
A leader in the fight against climate change, Becker has authored a number of measures on this front since taking office in 2020. Already this year he has introduced:
- SB 48 to set performance standards to make buildings more energy efficient.
- SB 49 to create incentives to build "solar canopies" in parking lots statewide.
Last year, he had several climate-related bills signed into law, including:
- SB 1203, better known as “California Zero,” requiring the state to develop a plan for getting its buildings, vehicle fleet, and electricity usage to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.
- SB 1158 requiring power companies like PG&E to disclose when the electricity grid is running on clean power.
- SB 887 requiring the state’s energy agencies to provide 15-year projections of energy resources and demands so California can ensure transmission facilities are being built to meet the state’s clean energy goals.
First elected in 2020, Senator Becker represents the 13th Senate District covering portions of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties and includes the cities of Belmont, Half Moon Bay, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Mountain View, Pacifica, Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo, South San Francisco, and Woodside.
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