We urge you to vote yes on Prop. 30, the Clean Cars and Clean Air Act. This proposition is the most impactful climate change initiative either of us have seen in decades of environmental work. Prop. 30 would place a temporary 1.75 percent tax on personal income over $2 million, to fund clean car rebates for California residents and organizations, expand charging infrastructure, and reduce catastrophic wildfires. Fifty percent of the clean vehicle funding is reserved to benefit low-income and disadvantaged communities, which are disproportionately impacted by air pollution.
While California is taking bold steps to address the climate crisis, the science says we must move faster. Half of California’s climate emissions come from transportation. This funding would accelerate getting clean cars, SUVs, trucks, and buses on our roads. It would make charging those vehicles easier and more convenient, cutting climate emissions more meaningfully and quickly than we are currently on track to do, to the benefit of all Californians.
The No on Prop. 30 campaign bashes Lyft for funding the measure. The initiative was conceived of by environmental organizations. There is no carve-out for Lyft — funding will help rideshare drivers afford electric vehicles. The Independent opines that recent historic funding for EVs is sufficient and we may not need to spend more. Au contraire, the climate crisis demands we accelerate action. A modest tax on the wealthiest to help all afford clean vehicles is an elegant solution that also addresses inequality. Join us in voting Yes on Prop. 30.
Michael Chiacos is director of Climate Policy for the Community Environmental Council, and Das Williams is 1st District Supervisor of the County of Santa Barbara.