Pacific Southwest Region 9 UTC

Implementation of Action 6 of the California Sustainable Freight Action Plan (CSFAP) Phase 3: Tracking Economic Competitiveness

Project Number

MT-18-SP90

Project Summary

Utilizing Caltrans funding program through Caltrans’ Division of Research, Innovation, and System Information (DRISI), GO-Biz initiated the task of establishing a target(s) for increasing the economic competitiveness of the California freight industry as specified by the Governor’s Sustainable Freight Action Plan (CSFAP).

Project Status

In progress

Year

2019

Topic Area

Sustainable Urban Freight

P.I. Name & Address

Professor; Margaret and John Ferraro Chair in Effective Local Government; Senior Associate Dean for Research and Technology; Director, METRANS , Sol Price School of Public Policy
University of Southern California
650 Childs Way
Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall (RGL) 216
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626
United States
giuliano@price.usc.edu

Utilizing Caltrans funding program through Caltrans’ Division of Research, Innovation, and System Information (DRISI), GO-Biz initiated the task of establishing a target(s) for increasing the economic competitiveness of the California freight industry as specified by the Governor’s Sustainable Freight Action Plan (CSFAP).  In collaboration with Caltrans, GO-Biz retained Genevieve Giuliani (USC) as the consultant to complete several tasks in Phase 2 which included researching and identifying definitions for “economic competitiveness” and “freight industry”; developing metrics for measuring economic competitiveness; identifying overall targets for economic competitiveness; and, identifying relevant and accessible freight data.  GO-Biz convened a working group consisting of freight industry representatives and state agency staff to guide the work of the consultant.  The working group met on several occasions during 2017 and 2018.  This overall effort was aimed at developing economic competitiveness and growth metrics to track the health of the freight sector while implementing the CSFAP. The metrics will assist in evaluating the state strategies proposed by the CSFAP by tracking their economic impact on California’s freight industry. 
 
Pursuant to AB 32, The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Statutes of 2006, Chapter 488), The Climate Change Scoping Plan and The First Update to the Climate Change Scoping Plan were developed to solidify California’s commitment to diminish and reverse the negative impacts of climate change to our environment, our communities, and on our economy.   As stated in the Scoping Plan Update, California’s approach to climate change has been built upon the principle that economic prosperity and environmental sustainability are one and the same.  To reach the objective of reducing California’s greenhouse gas emissions, the state has established, and is expanding, a range of actions that integrate climate thinking and sustainability programming while growing the economy. 
 
The Initial Scoping Plan, and its first Update, developed a comprehensive approach to target GHG reduction that includes rewarding innovation and fostering economic growth through the year 2050.  As a part of the Update, discussion revolved around the need for developing improved methods and tools to assess various impacts including economic impacts of state actions.  Included among the discussion topics were six key focus areas that comprise major components of the State’s economy.  Transportation was included as a key focus area.  In addition, a panel of economic experts convened to provide recommendations for evaluating the economic impacts associated with AB32.  Moving forward, expert economic advice will continue to be sought on evaluating the impacts of AB32 and the Scoping Plan on California’s economy. 
 
The transition to a clean energy future as envisioned by AB 32 and the Scoping Plan provides a great opportunity to foster economic growth that will create new businesses and industries that can capture additional efficiencies and productivity gains that could significantly cut GHG emissions.  Reducing GHG emissions will help businesses save on energy costs, cut maintenance costs, improve productivity, and make companies less exposed to energy price fluctuations.  However, as the Scoping Plan Update points out, technology and infrastructure change come at a cost. 
 
California’s transportation system is a significant source of both California’s economic prowess and also its GHG and criteria pollutant emissions.  And while California leads the nation, and in many respects the world, in the regulation of heavy-duty vehicles and equipment in the goods movement sector, regulations which have already resulted in significant and unprecedented emission reductions, additional emissions reductions and the introduction of new technologies to eliminate emissions must be pursued.  In order to accomplish this movement, there must be an economic analysis completed on the costs and benefits associated with these and related State actions. 
 
AB 32 requires State agencies to evaluate the potential costs and benefits of the Scoping Plan.  While the analyses estimated the potential economic impacts in a macroeconomic range it is clear that more data is needed, and more analysis are required, in order to determine the true impacts of regulatory actions on California’s industries and businesses.  While the macroeconomic analyses provide some important information, the models used are highly aggregated and lack specific detail about individual industries or technologies.  Assessing the cost of each regulatory measure on businesses can lead to important modifications of specific State actions and programs.  This in turn will inform the success of programs in meeting California’s long-term emission targets and in ensuring that the economic costs of State actions are not overly burdensome to specific business sectors.  In order to accomplish this, we must first develop new analytical tools and methods. 

Funding source: Caltrans

Funding amount: $299,500

Start and end dates: 5/17/2019 to 5/14/2021