STATEMENT: Governor announces $9 billion in cuts to climate programs in revised budget

For immediate release:

Friday, May 10, 2024


Laura Deehan, State Director, 415-420-4710, 

Jack Goodrich, Communications Associate, 619-345-4956,

STATEMENT: Governor announces $9 billion in cuts to climate programs in revised budget

More action is needed to make polluters pay in light of the structural budget deficit

SACRAMENTO — California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday released his May Revise to the 2024-25 state budget, announcing $9 billion in cuts and additional delays to state climate programs. The proposal could set back community bike and walking paths, the state’s “Clean Cars 4 All” program, electric vehicle charging networks, building electrification and more. The revision projected an overall budget deficit totaling $45 billion, with even higher projected deficits in subsequent years. The proposal would still maintain $45 billion of the state’s $54 billion climate commitment made in 2022, keeping approximately 83% of climate investments intact; although delaying it from being spent over 5 years to over 8 years.

The Governor’s budget proposal cuts some oil and gas subsidies, which would save $22 million this year. The state could recoup an estimated $4 billion if it ended the Water’s Edge Election tax credit, which encourages offshore tax havens. With the Governor’s May Revision completed, the state legislature will now work to develop their version of the budget and reach an agreement with the Governor by June 30th.

In response, Environment California State Director Laura Deehan released the following statement:

“Whether in deficit or surplus, we must find a way to protect our air, water, and wildlife. Every dollar we ‘save’ by cutting climate and clean air programs today will cost us far more in the long run.

We live in the wealthiest society that has ever existed. Yet we find ourselves with a structural deficit where polluters are raking in record profits and the public is left bearing the costs of devastating wildfires, decades of air and water pollution, and the health impacts that follow. To provide reliable funding for critical climate programs, we must take common sense action to make polluters pay, such as:

  1. Let’s eliminate every subsidy benefiting polluting industries. It doesn’t make sense to give polluters handouts as they fuel climate costs. We need to end oil and gas industry eligibility for tax breaks such as the Water’s Edge Election and tax credits for research and development. We must stop funding highway boondoggles that make air pollution worse.

  2. Let’s use existing tools, such as the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), to make polluters pay more to solve our climate problems. The GGRF is the backbone of California’s climate response. Now it’s time to add more meat to the bone by increasing fines on air, water, and climate polluters, and generating more cap-and-trade revenue.

  3. Let’s pass stronger laws that make polluters pay for our clean energy transition without relying on state dollars. We must double down on legislative and regulatory action to increase the adoption of clean energy technologies. Much like we did with the California clean car rules, new rules for electric vehicle charging stations in parking lots, heat pumps, and batteries in homes and businesses, among others, would speed the transition to 100% clean energy.

We are eager to work with Gov. Newsom and legislative leaders to find creative ways to restore crucial funding for climate and clean air to ensure a brighter future for all Californians.”

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