Op-Ed: on 2022 Environmental-Transportation Legislation

As a state, we’ve been a global leader in setting ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and toxic smog. The roadmap we set for the transportation sector, the largest contributor to California’s greenhouse gas emissions, will be critical in determining whether or not we’ll meet those benchmarks.

We’re already seeing some progress. The California Air Resources Board recently proposed ending the sale of new gasoline-powered cars in the state by 2035, and companies such as UPS have introduced vehicles that run on hydrogen fuel. Our commuter system Metrolink has moved to use plant-based renewable fuel, leading the nation in sustainable transportation.

However, even under the most aggressive scenario for zero-emission vehicle adoption and transition to cleaner fuels, we in California cannot meet our climate, public health and equity goals exclusively by relying on a shift in transportation technologies. We have to reduce our dependence on driving in order to meet our climate goals. This is largely the context for my environmental legislation currently in the works.