Bill to allow BART to reduce GHG emissions signed into law


Bill to allow BART to reduce GHG emissions signed into law

It will now be easier for BART to pursue greater greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions by increasing its use of clean energy thanks to a bill signed today by Governor Jerry Brown.  SB 502, authored by Senator Mark Leno (D- San Francisco) and sponsored by BART, provides the District more options for doing business directly with renewable energy providers.

Previously, state law restricted who BART could purchase specific energy sources from.  This bill now allows BART to purchase wholesale electricity directly from renewable energy sources so it can more easily pursue solar, wind, and small hydro power.

A recent survey of riders shows BART’s green qualifications as one of their top attributes of the system, with 89% of those surveyed agreeing that BART is an environmentally responsible form of transportation.  Riders prevent over 4.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide from polluting our local communities each day by ditching their cars and choosing BART. 

“Our trains are 100% electric with more than half the power coming from clean, hydroelectric and solar sources but there is more we can do,” said BART Board President Thomas Blalock. “This legislation will allow us to seek out new sources of clean renewable energy and for suppliers to offer it to us at a good price.”

 “BART is a vital regional transit system that is working to increase its use of clean energy, but current state law unnecessarily limits the agency from further decreasing its carbon footprint,” said Senator Leno. “This bill supports state goals to combat climate change and enables BART to continue providing cost-effective transportation for the Bay Area while increasing the agency’s use of renewable energy.”

SB 502 had no opposition and was supported by a long list of renewable energy advocates.  It also supports the Governor’s recent call to action to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state by 2030.