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Testimony: Cut fossil fuel subsidies, not climate investments

Oil drilling site. Photo via Canva.
Oil drilling site. Photo via Canva.

On March 21, 2024, the California Senate Budget Subcommittee on Resources, Environmental Protection, and Energy met to hear from experts and the public on the proposed 2024-2025 state budget. Facing a multi-billion-dollar budget deficit, Governor Newsom has proposed billions in potential cuts to climate and energy investments. If approved by the legislature, the cuts could have disastrous consequences for communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis, who are already breathing some of the most polluted air in the nation.

Coming off the hottest year on record, California needs to strengthen critical climate programs, not cut them. Every dollar we invest in fighting the climate crisis today will save lives.

The following testimony was given to the committee by Kendra Harris, Government Affairs Manager for The Climate Center:

Beacon Economics and Next 10 just released a persuasive report that California is not on track to meet our 2030 reduction target. The report says we need reductions of 4.4 percent when our annual average is 1.6 percent, currently. These cuts and delays will hamstring the state’s ability to meet its climate goals, as outlined by the California Air Resources Board’s Scoping Plan.

Instead of cutting critical climate, zero-emission transportation, and clean air programs in the state budget, we must eliminate subsidies for polluting industries that are worsening air quality and climate change. Let’s build on the governor’s proposal to limit subsidies for oil and gas and eliminate all subsidies available to oil and gas companies in the budget.