This month, the Governor signed the Cap and Trade Expenditure Plan bills, AB 109 and AB 134, which set forth how money collected from Cap and Trade would be spent. Agriculture will receive $300 million in this plan during this fiscal year. The money will be allocated as follows:
- $60 million to food processors to reduce GHG emissions
- $6 million for renewable energy research and development in agriculture
- $99 million in dairy digester research and development and alternative manure management
- $135 million to reduce emissions from agricultural pumps, tractors, harvesters, and other equipment
The Association played a critical role in creating this funding, including being involved in high level meetings during the negotiations of the Cap & Trade legislation. While the Association’s involvement was necessitated by the need to continue the Cap & Trade program for food processors, we saw this as an opportunity to re-direct this funding towards projects that actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions, yet help our farms, cotton gins, and tree nut hullers and processors address critical air quality issues through the use of incentives. With a potential mandatory farm equipment replacement regulation looming in the not so distant future, it was important to seize the opportunity while it was there. Stay tuned for details on when this money is available and how to receive this funding.