Sacramento County has released the fourth draft of its Climate Action Plan (CAP). As with the previous three drafts, 350 Sacramento and our partners have found many continuing deficiencies. Now the County is requesting public comment on this “final revised draft” and it’s time to make ourselves heard.
The “final” CAP draft misses its goals
It’s clear we’re about to be saddled with an ineffective CAP that will damage Sacramento County residents for years to come. Although the County revised much of the CAP’s language, it appears to continue its eleven-year history of “kicking the can down the road”.
We’re still reviewing the plan, but we already see fundamental problems. The CAP doesn’t comply with regulatory requirements for evidence, feasibility, and enforceability. The plans don’t fulfill the County’s previous promises.
Presenting weak and uncertain measures shows a lack of good faith for seriously addressing climate change. The many problems with the CAP’s proposed climate response include:
- Lack of details. The CAP relies on future planning to determine feasibility. For example, the CAP defers cost-effectiveness and feasibility analyses of electrification measures. The plan’s carbon offset proposal is just a concept and problematic.
- Unenforceable measures. The CAP expects farmers and homeowners to voluntarily adopt greenhouse gas (GHG) sequestration and reduction measures. These measures also depend on SMUD meeting its green energy goal.
- Under funding. The plan’s proposals for outreach, incentives, and future planning lack the adequate funding they need to succeed.
- No meaningful plan for traffic. Traffic is the County’s largest GHG source. The CAP allows sprawl projects as long as they contribute an infill fee. There is no consideration of using existing County land-use authority to prioritize infill.
- No environmental review. An underlying problem is the County’s claim that it doesn’t have to prepare a CAP environmental analysis, This lets the County proceed without evidence that the CAP is effective. We doubt this is legally correct and courts have found it improper in similar cases.
Be heard at the upcoming Supervisor’s Workshop on March 23
The County has scheduled a March 23 Board workshop to receive public input, discuss the CAP, and provide guidance to staff. There will not be a vote but this is a key event. Supervisors’ comments to staff, informed by public concern, will determine whether the staff substantially improves the CAP before Supervisors approve it.
350 Sacramento will provide formal written comments and keep the media informed, but this is the time for everyone to speak up. To add your voice:
- Petition your Supervisor. Add your name to the petition for an effective and legal Climate Action Plan.
- Submit your individual written and phone-in comments. If you want to make comments on March 23, there’s a training on Friday, March 18 at 6:00 PM (details below).
Attend the public comments training on March 18
For suggestions on how to make comments and make your point, come to the March 18 training on Zoom. Join us at:
Power Hour: Making Public Comments – County CAP Edition
Time: March 18, 2022 @ 6:00 PM
To find out more, contact the CAP team at firstname.lastname@example.org.