Gavin Newsom, the California Governor unveiled a $286.4 billion spending plan for the state on Monday, dubbed the “California Blueprint.” The proposal proposes spending $22.5 billion to solve the state’s looming climate issue, with an additional $6.1 billion set aside for electric vehicle-related efforts.
California pledged $15.1 billion last year for a variety of climate-related activities, including $3.9 billion for electric vehicle-related initiatives. California was also the first state to announce that by 2035, it would virtually prohibit the sale of the new internal combustion engines (ICE) or gas-powered automobiles.
“You’d think we were declaring for the United States government,” Newsom said when asked about the amount of money the city plans to invest on electric vehicle incentives. He boasted that adding $6.1 billion to last year’s budget for electric vehicle-related investment would equal to a “$10 billion state, sub-national commitment.”
According to the governor, such spending was justified in part to combat emissions of greenhouse gases from fossil fuel and vehicle tailpipes exploitation. Over half of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to the transportation industry.
The governor added that the state’s willingness to invest in electrification had attracted new zero-emission vehicle companies, although he did not name them. Automakers such as Lordstown Motors and Rivian, as well as charging infrastructure providers such as Volta and Ample, are among those following Tesla’s lead.
“Even those that have historically resided in the state are increasing in the state,” Newsom said, referring to Tesla. Tesla’s headquarters moved to Austin, Texas, last year, but the company still has a vehicle assembly facility in Fremont and other key businesses in the state.
Newsom has dubbed California the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” referring to lithium reserves near the Salton Sea in Imperial County.
The California Blueprint’s climate spending proposals for the fiscal year 2022-2023 include:
- $3.9 billion for port electrification, heavy-duty truck electrification, school bus electrification, and public transit bus electrification throughout the state.
- $2 billion for a variety of “clean energy” initiatives, including building decarbonization, long-term energy storage, and offshore wind development.
- $1.2 billion in new forest health and fire protection spending. This involves additional CalFire and other workers being hired and trained, more Firehawks (firefighting aircraft) being purchased, and expenditure on grazing, fuel breaks, home hardening, remote sensing, controlled burns, and reforestation.
- By the end of 2023, California will have spent $1.2 billion on about 40,000 passenger electric cars and 100,000 new charging stations, as well as $1 billion on other zero-emission vehicle projects.
- A $1 billion tax credit for enterprises that create breakthrough climate technology or manufacture green energy technology and share profits.
- $757 million for state parks, with all Californians, independent of income, having access to them.
- $750 million for drought relief to “prepare for the long-term challenges of a world being re-plumbed,” according to Newsom. Expenditure on groundwater replenishment, water conservation, efficiency, and help to small farmers in the salad bowl state are all part of this plan.