In this extraordinary white paper on value and values, a team at Propel Fuels — Rob Elam, Will Faulkner, Chris LaPlante, Parker Chase look at the problem of fairness in carbon policy. They write:
Through the flagship Clean Vehicle Rebate Program, Californians have received $448 million in state rebates for purchases of EVs (hybrids too), with a very large portion going to the wealthiest Californians…the trickledown effects hoped for have not materialized as residents of low-income, high-pollution neighborhoods, otherwise known as Disadvantaged Communities, do not purchase EVs. Even though California’s Disadvantaged Communities suffer the worst air quality in the entire nation, they are the group most likely to vote for the complete repeal of AB 32, due to the inequity of “carbonomics” policy design – an unfortunate, rational choice for short term economic relief at the expense of long term health.
How might this outcome be avoided? Low-carbon fuels provide one solution…[they] are not a premium product that only wealthy, coastal elites can buy today; they are affordable to mainstream populations, including middle- and low-income individuals of all races and age groups. It is inherently progressive, providing relief and inclusion for the state’s most vulnerable citizens, rather than regressive energy taxes and a promise of brighter, cleaner, affordable future.”