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Supervisor Fletcher opposes Effort to Deny Climate Realities

04/29/19

Supervisors Jim Desmond and Kristin Gaspar’s opposition to SANDAG’s vision for a transit-oriented future denies the realities of climate change, encourages the agency to ignore a court order, and misleads voters about the authority the regional planning agency has to change the 2011 Regional Transportation Plan. Tuesday, the pair will request the Board of Supervisors oppose any modifications to the 2004 TransNet Extension Ordinance and support building more roads and highways.

“This is a choice between believing the science on climate change or denying it, a choice between cleaner air or more pollution, a choice between transportation options or just more roads. This vote by the Board of Supervisors represents a choice between embracing a cleaner future or clinging to a failed past. I chose to look forward. Building more roads fails to put SANDAG in compliance with California’s environmental standards, including SB 375,” said Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, a member of the California Air Resources Board. “We cannot continue to cling to a failed past, we must move forward with a new vision. Transit is the only way we are going to relieve traffic congestion, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, have cleaner air and slow climate change.”

Misleading Voters

Supervisor Desmond told multiple media outlets and posted on social media Friday that SANDAG would not be keeping its promise to voters because it’s not planning to invest in more roads.

“What Supervisor Desmond failed to acknowledge and perhaps doesn't know is the voters explicitly and clearly gave the agency authority to change its strategy to take advantage of advancements in the transportation sector and ensure their tax dollars are being leveraged effectively,” Supervisor Fletcher continued.    

What was approved by the voters in 2004,  TransNet Extension & Ordinance, is clear:

“it is the intent that the ITOC (Independent Taxpayer Oversight Committee) will assist SANDAG to be opportunistic to take advantage of changing situations in the future with regard to technologies and transportation developments. Therefore, the provisions contained below are viewed through 2048 based upon a 2004 perspective and are not meant to be unduly restrictive on ITOC’s and SANDAG’s roles and responsibilities.”

Denying Vehicle Impact on Climate Realities?

Supervisor Desmond told the Voice of San Diego on Friday that “climate change is going to happen with us or without us.” According to Yale University, 73% of San Diegans believe in climate change.

Climate science clearly shows the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in California is the transportation sector. Since 2010 vehicle miles traveled in San Diego have increased by almost 1 billion. Last week, the American Lung Association gave San Diego a failing grade for its air quality.  

Supervisor Fletcher concluded, “The vote before the Board is about choosing to believe in climate science or being a climate denier. The vote is about choosing cleaner air or increased pollution for the next generation. It is about choosing fast, reliable transportation or more congested roads.