Environment and Natural Resources Publications

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Report

The 2015-16 Budget: Resources and Environmental Protection

February 19, 2015 - The Governor’s budget for 2015-16 proposes a total of $9.3 billion in expenditures from the General Fund, various special funds, bond funds, and federal funds for resources and environmental protection programs. In this report, we assess many of the Governor’s budget proposals related to these programs and recommend various changes.

Hearing Handout

Major Water Related Proposals in the Governor's 2015-16 Budget

February 12, 2015 - Presented to the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee Hon. Mark Leno, Chair

Report

The 2015-16 Budget: Effectively Implementing the 2014 Water Bond

February 11, 2015 - In August 2014, the Legislature approved Chapter 188, Statutes of 2014 (AB 1471, Rendon), which placed before the voters a water bond measure primarily aimed at increasing the supply of clean, safe, and reliable water and restoring habitat. On November 4, 2014, voters approved the water bond measure—Proposition 1. In this report, we (1) describe Proposition 1, (2) review the Governor’s proposals to implement the bond, (3) identify key implementation principles, and (4) recommend steps for the Legislature to ensure that the bond is implemented effectively.

Hearing Handout

Implementing the 2014 Water Bond

February 10, 2015 - Presented to: Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife

Report

Achieving State Goals for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

January 15, 2015 - The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) is a biodiverse ecosystem that covers about 1,150 square miles and supports over 700 species of fish and wildlife. The Delta is an important source of water for the state and is used to convey water from Northern California to Southern California. The Delta faces several significant problems, including: (1) a decline in key native fish species, (2) reductions in the amount of Delta water available for use elsewhere, (3) water pollutants that cause harm to species and increase treatment costs, and (4) levees at significant risk of failure. The state has engaged in numerous efforts to address these problems and achieve its "coequal goals" for the Delta: water supply reliability and ecosystem restoration. There are many opportunities for the Legislature to improve the success of these efforts. We identified several issues for its consideration, including (1) demands for Delta water, (2) uncertain funding sources and slow implementation of some key activities, (3) limits on the effectiveness of governance in the Delta, and (4) challenges to restoring the Delta ecosystem. By addressing some of these issues, the Legislature can improve the likelihood that its goals and objectives for the Delta will be realized.

Other

Letter to the Honorable Henry Perea Regarding Transportation Fuels and the Cap-and-Trade Program

August 4, 2014 - This letter responds to a request concerning the effects of including transportation fuels in California's cap-and-trade program.

Hearing Handout

Augmentation for Drought Activities

June 4, 2014 - Presented to: Budget Conference Committee

Hearing Handout

Longer-Term Cap-and-Trade Expenditure Plans

June 4, 2014 - Presented to: Budget Conference Committee

Hearing Handout

Cap-and-Trade Expenditure Plan for 2014-15

June 4, 2014 - Presented to: Budget Conference Committee

Hearing Handout

Augmentation for Drought Activities: LAO Compromise Provisional Language

June 4, 2014 - Presented to: Budget Conference Committee

Hearing Handout

Improving Management of the State's Groundwater Resources

March 11, 2014 - Presented to: Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Resources and Transportation

Report

The 2014-15 Budget: Cap-and-Trade Auction Revenue Expenditure Plan

February 24, 2014 - In order to minimize the negative economic impact of cap-and-trade, it is important that auction revenues be invested in a way that maximizes GHG emission reductions for a given level of spending. In reviewing the Governor's proposed expenditure plan, we find that there is significant uncertainty regarding the degree to which each investment proposed for funding will achieve GHG reductions. This uncertainty is the result of several factors, including there being only limited data and analysis provided by the administration, as well as the fact that the level of emission reductions achieved would depend on the specific projects funded by departments. Given these concerns, we recommend that the Legislature direct ARB to develop metrics for departments to use in order to prospectively evaluate the potential GHG emission benefits of proposed projects, as well as direct the board to establish a set of guidelines for how departments should incorporate these metrics into their decision making processes.

Report

The 2014-15 Budget: Resources and Environmental Protection

February 21, 2014 - In this report, we analyze the Governor's 2014-15 budget for the state's resources and environmental protection programs. We review and make recommendations on a number of major policy proposals, including a review of the administration's recently released Water Action Plan as well as the proposal to reduce or eliminate several programs currently funded by the Beverage Container Recycling Fund (commonly referred to as the "bottle bill"). We find that these policy proposals are generally reasonable approaches, though we identify trade-offs in the proposals and offer recommendations for legislative consideration. The report also identifies several issues included in the Governor's budget that merit additional legislative oversight. This includes the proposal to provide the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection with a total of $43 million from the General Fund to address deferred maintenance backlogs. While we find that it makes fiscal sense to address deferred maintenance, there is uncertainty about what factors have contributed to the large backlogs, as well as how the state can best address maintenance needs on an ongoing basis.

Hearing Handout

Financing the Bay Delta Conservation Plan

February 12, 2014 - Presented to: Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee

Hearing Handout

Governance and Financing of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan

August 13, 2013 - Presented to: Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee and Senate Governance and Finance Committee

Environment and Natural Resources Staff

Ross Brown
(916) 319-8345
Air Quality, Energy, Recycling, and Climate Change
 
Rachel Ehlers
(916) 319-8330
Water, Coastal Development, and Fish and Wildlife
 
Helen Kerstein
(916) 319-8364
Forestry, Parks, and High Speed Rail
 
Frank Jimenez
(916) 319-8324
Highways and Roads, Agriculture, and Toxics
 
Eunice Roh
(916) 319-8327
Mass Transportation, Traffic Enforcement, Statewide Infrastructure
 
Brian Brown
(916) 319-8325
Deputy Legislative Analyst: Environment and Transportation