Climate Money Watchdog

Spending Climate Change Mitigation Funds Wisely at the County Level - Supervisor John Gioia

May 05, 2022 John Gioia Season 1 Episode 4
Climate Money Watchdog
Spending Climate Change Mitigation Funds Wisely at the County Level - Supervisor John Gioia
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

California Contra Costa County Supervisor Gioia has been elected and re-elected with overwhelming margins five times, and represents the most urban part of the county, which lies directly north of Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco. 

He considers himself an environmental leader, and serves as the Vice-Chair of the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority.

We spoke with Supervisor Gioia about past, present and future projects in Contra Costa County, including numerous residential and commercial electronic vehicle charging stations.

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Greg Williams:

So, in today's podcast, we're welcoming California Contra Costa County Supervisor John Joya to help us understand the perspective of local and, and more particularly county governments on federal environmental projects, and in general oversight in cases where the federal government is spending money through county or state or local governments. So by way of introduction, supervisor Joya has been elected and reelected with overwhelming margins five times. Very well liked supervisor in Contra, Contra Costa County, particularly urban part of the San Francisco Bay area. I consider themselves an environmental leader and currently serves as the vice chair of the San Francisco Bay restoration authority. And then, as usual, Dina and I met each other 30 years ago when we worked with the project on government oversight. And at that time, we were interested in very similar oversight issues and wanting to spend the country's money well, only back then it had more to do with military spending. And we're now as we are all climate money watch podcast focused on the very large amount of money we're gearing up to spend on environmental remediation and climate change mitigation. So welcome, John. And unless there's anything else you'd like to cover, first, we'd love to hear about any programs that benefited from federal funding that you think worked particularly well, or were particularly problematic.

John Gioia:

I will, Greg and Dina thanks for having me. And, for short, just refer to me as John, my dad was a high school teacher in town, and he was the Mr. Joy. Yeah, so but I'm on. And, you know, he, one of the things my dad taught me is a government teacher is to sort of put things in a larger perspective. And so I'm going to, I'm going to say a little bit about also county government in our role in all of this, and we do rely a lot on federal funding for so many services and projects. So I'm gonna draw a bit on that experience, as I talk about this. And, and for those listening. Our county Contra Costa is a county of about 1.2 million people in the East Bay. And we are along San Francisco Bay has urban suburban and rural areas. So when we've gotten federal dollars, it, it's been used in all parts of the county for all different kinds of projects. And I'm also going to reflect a bit on this issue from my perspective of serving on a regional on regional agencies and those of us in county government get to serve on regional boards, like being vice chair of this very unique San Francisco Bay restoration authority. I serve on the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, the Bay Area, Air Quality Management District, and for seven years, I served on the California Air Resources Board. So a lot of my work on environment and air quality and water quality does come in the context of those regional agencies. And, and in addition, you know, county, county government, while we build environmental projects, most of what we do is really meet the health and social service needs of our 1.2 million county residents. And a lot of that comes with federal dollars. And we always have this issue of that we think at the local level that we often know best how to spend federal dollars. And I say that, that knowing that there are other local governments around this country that may not do as good of a job as let's say, we think we're doing and I think this is this is sort of the tension in the struggle is How much control do you give local government or local agencies in spending federal dollars, I think you need to have general parameters. And I'll talk about that and in the context of certain projects, where you leave flexibility to local agencies who work with communities, and are really trying to get input from communities as we build projects and spend federal dollars. But there's also let me just say, there are local agencies around this country that have a pretty bad record. Of, of if they're, if you block grant, I mean, this issue of block granting dollars versus money for specific projects. You can block grant dollars to a really, I'll call it responsible local entity that's listening to the community and trying to do its best. And I think block grant works very well. But then you can block grant to agency He's that aren't listening to their community, and that are not spending it responsibly. So I understand you need to have some parameters around how that federal money is spent. So, and sometimes, you know, it's so there's no perfect world, you set parameters, right? To ensure that the money is being properly spent for the intended purpose. And sometimes that can hamstring a local agency that's trying to do its best. And other in other situations, it's actually holding local agencies accountable. So you see the distinction I'm making, you want to hold local agencies accountable, with the right amount of flexibility. And to be honest, even here in California, it happens when the state provides dollars to counties, you know, there are some counties that say, just give us the money, we'll spend it the way we think makes sense for whatever, let's say, a health program. But they may really not be doing a good job. So the state's trying to maintain some minimum standards. So we have the same issue in the context of of, of, of state dollars as well. So those are some general comments before we even get into projects. And I don't know if you've probably watched this develop so. So I think there is no one magic answer depends on the purpose of the funding, how much flexibility and how much, there clearly always needs to be accountability. But how much flexibility is granted should depend on the kind of on the on the kind of project. And let me give you an example to one thing we do a lot of when you in my role in the San Francisco Bay restoration authority, which is very unique. It is it is a regional agency of all nine counties, that spends local voter approved money to restore San Francisco Bay, through wetland restoration and provide resiliency against sea level rise and access to the bay. So a cleaner Bay. But we also know that our local dollars are just not enough to build these very expensive large projects. So our local dollars really become a match for federal and state dollars. And so what often happens in the context of federal dollars on these kinds of environmental projects is you have you may have state dollars with certain requirements, federal dollars with certain requirements, and then local dollars, which may be more flexible, that also have certain requirements. And then you have to blend those dollars. Because really, most projects, environmental projects get built with a blend of funding federal, state and or local and sometimes from foundations and philanthropy. So in the example of our wetland restoration projects around the bay, the Federal we have to then align our dollars and how we build a project with the federal requirements, which sometimes can be challenging. And we've learned to deal with it. But that's another thing to bear in mind is that the Federal dollars are not usually the only funding source to build these projects, they have to be blended with other dollars. So it

Greg Williams:

can get complicated to just one of my favorite examples is that near where I live, there's what's now a municipal airport that for many years was an Air Force base, and then an Air National Guard Base. And then of course, has all kinds of pee fast pollution, you know, from the firefighting foam that they use. Now, I'm convinced that the Air National Guard and the EPA are trying to do their best for the local community, but they have to use standards of you know, how many parts per billion are considered safe, that come from the EPA, and the EPA, for all the good that it does, you know, follows the steady into sometimes aggravatingly slow march of science. And so they can't use the latest, you know, with the latest journal article says is a safe amount of pollution, they have to use the the amount that is ensconced in in federal regulation.

John Gioia:

Right. But that's a really good point because like, especially out here in California, and in the Bay Area, where are our environmental standards are often higher than at the federal level. And we face that even in my role on the California Air Resources Board. So and and with our local air district where, you know, we want to we have higher environmental standards, but then again, right, this federal dot these federal dollars may be spent in another state, let's say Mississippi, that has substantially less federal standards, right. And so this is I think the dilemma that we face is that You've got 50 states with 50 different types of and then not just 50 states, but you know, hundreds of 1000s of local agencies, all with a different way of doing things. And the federal government is trying to standardize it. And as I said earlier, in some cases, their standards will raise the bar in maybe a state like Mississippi, but may not be doing that in a state like California and the Bay Area where our standards are higher. And that's where what, what I think makes often sense is, is is if there's a federal standard, have that federal standard, be the base the floor, and if there's a higher standard, let's say that you want to reach environmentally, that exist at the local or state level have let us apply our standards. You see my point? In other words,

Dina Rasor:

and that's not that's not in the regulation. Right now. I always thought that you could be you couldn't go below the federal standard, but you could go above it. Right, right. So in the case of environmentalism, is that normal projects? Is that true or not?

John Gioia:

Well, you know, it's that's such a complicated field. And usually, you're following federal standards, there may be some where you can exceed the federal standard. But that's not that's not always the case. And I know, I hear what's going to be interesting is in the infrastructure bill, right. There's a lot of funding for electric vehicle chargers, right public charging, which is really, really important. And we're probably spending a note not probably we are spending here in California, way more than any other state on that issue. And I certainly, I certainly are resources board where we also approved the allocations from the Volkswagen settlement. So if you think about the funding for for electric vehicle charges, you've got funding coming from local air districts providing grant funding, you've got all this money from the Volkswagen settlement. You've got cap and trade funding coming from the state of California. Now you have federal funding. And one of the things we're doing locally and I haven't looked at the at the details of how what requirements the federal government's placing on on these Evie chargers. But we've done a lot of work on this in California, and have a lot of experience on this. And, you know, for example, making sure you know, what, what are the best locations to put the to put the ease and one of the things we're finding is, you know, for example, lower income communities need more adapt, you just don't. There's an environmental justice issue here, that multifamily multifamily units need them more if you think about it, many renters, or lower income, people who live in multifamily don't have the same ability to charge at home. So you know, you need I think you need more of those dollars spent in environmental justice communities. And in the end and multifamily housing, where you can't just like the single family housing, build your charging, look, build your charger, right, you don't you don't you're at the mercy of the of the of the property owner with multifamily housing. So there's a, there's also ADA standards that we've put into effect, to really try to make the Chargers more even more accessible. So I, I'm worried a little bit about what requirements the federal government may be setting. This is an example where at least in California, we would like the dollars with the greatest flexibility, because we've had a lot of experience on EB chargers. Now a state like Wyoming may not have as much experience, and therefore the federal standards, you know, may be more appropriate. So again, without having seen the details of it, this is going to be an interesting issue, because this is a new money, it's great. But we've also done a lot of work on this locally. And you know, we have a lot of thoughts about how to deploy Evie chargers in ways that achieve equity as well.

Dina Rasor:

How do you how do you feel about the difference on that one of the issues is talking about is whether they're maintained by the government or their private? And yeah, I think about I think about the field payphones in you know, very depressed, high crime areas are getting picked apart. And so I'm just, I'm just kind of sitting there thinking how are you going to do this? How can the government kind of, you know, do this and will they oversee it and be the protection of it? And I actually came up with this little off subject but I actually came up the idea of why not go to the independent gas station people and give them money for it and have them you know, as as hopefully electric cars go along, start tearing out gas combs still have gas, but also have charging because then obviously, you wouldn't put a private gas pump somewhere right? are probably basket on unprotected somewhere? I'm just wondering.

John Gioia:

I think I think I think any and all of the above makes sense. I mean, I think it does make sense to look at. Yeah, I mean, how do you use the existing infrastructure of gas stations and hopefully as we use less gas, and there's less gas stations around, replace some of those, you know, the pumps at those locations with fast chargers, right? Because you don't want slow chargers there, you know, slow chargers, you'll usually want associated with the shopping center, or an office where people are going to already be spending time doing other things. But for fast charging locations, like a gas station makes sense. Here's why if you could

Dina Rasor:

have the gas station and people who are going to see themselves being put out of business, especially dependents, forget the ones that are running

John Gioia:

and maintain it, I think the issue you raise, which is a good one is who controls it. And there's a combination out there. Now, some are some of these are, are sort of maintained by like local cities, a lot lot of cities have stepped up. Others are by local, our local, let's say, the owner of a shopping center, the owner of an office complex, I think you can do both. But this is a big, but if you have private entities operating them, you need to set limits on what they're charging for the electricity. I think that's the big issue is, I think it's okay to have a mix of publicly owned and operated versus privately owned and operated as long as you set limits on how much someone charges for the electricity, because what you don't want, right? Is the private owner, setting some exorbitant amount of costs for electricity. So I think that's that's what's key. For example, have I had our county adopt an ordinance on for new construction that went beyond state requirements to require sort of ready ready to operate chargers for new developments, and which meant if you're building a shopping center, that you're putting chart and a certain amount of chargers in? Which is good, because otherwise, you know, there may not they may not put them in at least not as many. But you want to be able to limit the again, they let the electricity charge. I think that's the key issue. And that we need to we need to do more in that area.

Dina Rasor:

Then what do you do with the sorry, Greg, but I just really want to finish this because we have a local thing. What do you do about the the Tesla envy, I mean, I go to El Sarita plaza that takes up a whole row of parking for only Tesla drivers is gonna make it are we going to start having a car class, you know, if you haven't

John Gioia:

gone think that's an equity that is truly an equity issue. Because, you know, unlike other, you know, other charges with interesting other public chargers, the non Tesla chargers can be used by generally any car, as well as Tesla's because Tesla's have an adapter to fit them. Whereas a Tesla charger can only be used by test cars. So it is a bit of an elitist approach. And I think what you have to do is if they're going to be Tesla chargers, the local agency that allows these chargers, let's say to to be installed should also require non Tesla chargers, other what you'd what you don't want, I mean, it's great that Tesla's putting in chargers for their customers, but you that can't be at the exclusion of others. You know, one of the other issues that came up, and I we dealt with this on the California Air Resources Board is is is working to standardize how people, even when you put the charger in how people access and pay, right. And we are in, of course, a charge point and they wanted to control it, right? Because if you think some of these chargers are owned and operated by third parties, like a charge point, right. And, and the Airboard started to set standards, because what you don't want is even you don't want third parties like charge point going out and and make it not accepting, let's say, other other other systems you want to make you want to make chargers uniform, just like a gas pump is uniform, right? It's not like when you go to fill up gas, it's not like only certain cars can get gas there. Likewise, you want to make sure all the charges are uniformly available, you end to eventually pay for them with a credit card, you know, not you you don't have to be signed up through ChargePoint or some other system and we got pushed back at the airport when we when we when we did that. But but there is now a system in place to move towards uniformity. So So you know, this is why it's well beyond just the infrastructure dollars. It's how how does this play out in this case? You know, building a charger is one thing, how you access it, how much you pay for electricity and And you know where they're located are all really important.

Dina Rasor:

And who maintains it? I think that's why I like the idea of paying an independent gas station get somebody money, because they're going to be losing folks really losing pumps, and when they gain things that they make sure that these things aren't clean or whatever. What about that? I mean, I trust nothing that Musk is going to do. Okay, so what if he ended up setting up chargers here, where you can do adapter, but if you didn't have a Tesla, he charges, he charges you less if you do if you have a Tesla, and more if you have another car? Because that's another, you know, I can't afford a test. No. One but yeah, all right. Is that another justice problem?

John Gioia:

Yeah, I think and this hasn't happened yet. I think I think an answer to that is, and again, no, I'm unaware that this has been done is, is get agencies to say when you're approving that type of charger, that you're making it access you that you have that you make it accessible to other non Tesla vehicles, and it could very, very well be your electricity rates going to be different. Like I know, when I when I think when you buy a Tesla Model three, you pay for your own power at the at a Tesla charger. But if you buy one of the more expensive Tesla's it used to be I don't know if this is the case now, but it may still be it used to be where we would get free charging for a for a period of time. And because you paid a lot more for your car. And so I can understand as a marketing tool Tesla's doing that. But this does come in these, these charges can easily be programmed to charge different electricity rates to different types of users, but you want the rates to be fair, right? And you want them to be accessible.

Dina Rasor:

He also has a lot of money to log. In other words, he can really, you know, have an if you're in like, say, if you're in a red state, I can see that, you know, he comes in and and, and, you know, they don't really want to do this anyway. And they're having to take his money to have it done his way.

John Gioia:

That the biggest issue I see is you don't you know, you don't want the federal dollars to get used to just build a bunch of more chargers, in, let's say, higher income communities where there were there are a lot of electric vehicles. And clearly while there's still a need for more chargers, and even in those communities, that you that you're not putting the chargers in into lower to middle income communities, where the Chargers are really needed for people to make the decision to buy an electric car, think about this. If you live in a multifamily that doesn't have chargers and you can't charge at home, you're going to need to have a charger at work or in the community. And we hear all the time from lower income residents in let's say, an apartment, I want to buy an electric car, I can't. Because even if they get, let's say financial assistance, and there's grant programs to lease and buy these for lower income residents, a can because they have no place to charge them. And so that is why you I think that's an idea, an area where having parameters about how you spend federal or state dollars, frankly, to equalize the deployment of these chargers into communities that need them, and not just in the communities where there's electric cars today.

Greg Williams:

So let me ask you that. I'm a big fan of measuring outputs rather than inputs, right? In other words, let's not measure the amount of money we're going to spend, let's come up with some way of measuring the good that comes of it. So let's say we come up with a parameter that says, you know, this many joules of electricity delivered for for transportation use in excess of what is being delivered today. And you might even refine that that to say that, you know, this many jewels produced in a sustainable or, you know, zero carbon footprint fashion. You know, we don't want all these cars being charged up by coal fired power plants, right. Or those kinds of output based measures, you know, feasible are they onerous from that perspective of a county level government.

John Gioia:

So, so but you raise to two interesting points, and I want to talk about both of them. The first one you raise the issue of the source of the power or for these chargers, it is clear that our move toward electrification now, Right needs to be coupled with our move toward clean power, right? It doesn't do any good to have an electric car in a coal producing area where basically it's coal producing the electricity for your car. Right? Right, that's not good. And in fact, that can sometimes be worse than even just gasoline in your car. So and that's why California has embarked on you know, its renewable portfolio strategy of really increasing, you know, and, you know, electrifying it making our make cleaning up our grid. So they have to be couple. So your point is, that's a really important point is, is, and they are happening in California together. It's not happening in other states in the same way. So you know, just putting out a electric chargers, you know, to basically dispense coal fired electricity is not what we want to be doing. Right, we need to be knew more about electricity produced, it raises an interesting question. So here, it gets back to the issue. Remember, these chargers are about trying to build to meet the demand of future electric cars. Remember, we have such a small penetration in the market of electric cars, it's growing. And it's a little of a chicken and egg thing. You build the chargers and deploy them to meet the increasing demand for the electricity. But, but, but also, people are making decisions whether to buy an electric vehicle, whether they think there's enough chargers out there for them now. So it is I think we are going to see, especially in lower income communities, the importance of putting in the charging network first. The demand is great, as we would like to see, because it helps people make the decision to buy the electric car, or at least the electric car. So it is okay at the outset to put in these chargers. And not necessarily expect that you're going to be you know, dispensing as much electricity through them as an as a charger in a community where there's a lot of electric cars to see my point. So I think I

Greg Williams:

do and it Yeah, I think it gets back to Dina's well intersects with Dana's point about the maintenance of the charging stations. I mean, if there's a big difference between the charging station then it isn't delivering very many joules of electricity, because it's broken all the time. Right. Right. That's, and one that isn't delivering very much energy because the people haven't bought the electric cars yet.

John Gioia:

Right. And we're seeing that in my own community in Richmond, you know, city of a little over 100,000 people. Very diverse city, a lot of low income residents city's been great at getting chargers deployed using a lot of mix of grant funding. And, and and now the use is not i There's a fast charger i use over at Kennedy High School. School My father used to teach at that is hardly used. And you know, it's near the freeway, but it I think, I think as more people buy and lease electric cars and plug in hybrids, you're going to see these chargers get used more. So I think that's a good thing just to think about and consider on this it, the charges lay the groundwork to build the demand for electric vehicles. So both have to happen. And the car, obviously, the way the cost is going to come down is and it is coming down the battery cost has already come down substantially is the more the more cars that are on the road. And the more that the more that cost comes down on these vehicles, the lifecycle cost,

Dina Rasor:

then in that charger, Kennedy is immediately sitting there by itself, is it been vandalized at all?

John Gioia:

No, but but the it hasn't been the issue is but it is true that there's there are a lot out there. There's I don't say a lot, but there's a number out there that we that you go to that oftentimes they're not working. And that becomes an issue with the third. And these are usually like you know, ones that are operated like by charge point. What's the other one? Is it the Plugshare there's, you know, there's a number of different I'd have to pull up my app because I'm on I signed up for all of them. But yes, there are issues where some of these companies that operate them. Hey, I shop at the L Street on natural grocery on San Pablo Avenue which is actually technically in Richmond, as you know. And They have chargers there that often are not using and are not are not being used because they're they're not working. And I think because the, you know, the owner, those are, that's a situation where the owner of the natural grocery on their own funded and installed them, which is great as part of their as part of when they built their their project, they there they're prepared food annex. They but they they haven't maintained them, I think as much as they should. But they put their own money, they didn't use any federal or state or local dollars, they use their own money to build them. I do think we need to hold standards about the about the ones that get public dollars to ensure that they are being properly maintained. Because most of these have been built with some kind of grant of public dollars, at least partially. And, and they need to be they need to be maintained. Because otherwise those public dollars are a waste. For the most part they are there are some that are not

Greg Williams:

you see a role for financial incentives. Along the lines of You know, you get a subsidy for keeping this in operation that is based on the overall availability of the of the station or or do you think some other

John Gioia:

I think you want to hold steady, I think you can hold some standards there you could. And the other thing is, is where we need more oversight, frankly, is people that park cars there and leave them there all day beyond the need to charge and then they take them that is really key, they take up a spot that that is no longer in which the charging is stopped. And somebody else doesn't get to use it. That is a common issue. Because currently the shortage of chargers out there. And what some what some entities have done is they have after two or three hours, they're programmed that the energy costs go up substantially. I mean, so that they'll say you get two hours of charging here. And after two hours, your electricity rate goes up substantially that you notice it and you just say I'm only going to park there for two hours. The other is like you get a ticket. But that's an enforcement issue. And you know, that doesn't that usually doesn't get enforced. And so that's an issue. I think that we need. There's a lot of issues to think about with getting chargers to be equitable. The bottom line is there is something that Elon Musk said many years ago, when when and I'm not always a big fan of his let me just say but but he's brilliant, brilliant on many things and not on others, right? Like like all of us complicated human beings. And he's had some some issues. He he made a comment when I was down there with our Congressman Mark dysphonia when he was in the State Senate, he and I had paid a visit to the Tesla plan on some issues. And and, and Elon Musk made interesting comments, he said, he says I think we're gonna get to the point where this is where we should be said where people do pretty much all their charging at home or at work and we don't need this big. This big network of public chargers, I think he's partially right. I don't agree with the network that we don't need public chargers? We absolutely do. But where he's partially right is I think we're getting to the point where people because battery rent because battery range has increased. You know, my I have a bolt Chevy Bolt, that's 270 miles of range, I do pretty much 99% of my charging at home, because you know that because of that range. So I think I think that is true that we're moving to a point where most charging is happening at home or at work, potentially when you're parked somewhere at work. Because you have longer range batteries now, but that doesn't mean we don't need the Chargers as public chargers, especially in communities that do not have home charging and they get back to this issue of multifamily. The biggest gap for chargers is for multifamily.

Dina Rasor:

And what would you do also like in downtown San Francisco where you have a big, you know, apartment tower, right? Where and you know, maybe they all have some of the more expensive ones will have parking spaces but most of them you park on the street What do you know, what do you

John Gioia:

even there even in those like high high income multifamily in San Francisco, there's there's not enough chargers. Remember we're going to the goal where we want all you know, if you look at the Governor's Executive Order, every single electric car sold in California starting in 2035 would be zero emission. But we don't have even in those brand new, higher and higher income housing units. They don't have enough electric chargers right now. So there's not even enough chargers there. Because if our goal is to have, you know, let's say, by 2030, if we can have, you know, 50% of the cars on the road, we're electric, there's not enough chargers out there today to accommodate that. And so are the, our new construction standards need to be much, much more stringent about requiring these. And then the biggest issue comes in retrofit, the cost of retrofit, like are at our county, like an example, we can get grants from whatever level of government to put in a charger. But those grants don't cover the infrastructure, get the power out to the charger, and that is actually the more expensive piece, think about it, putting installing it, get it paying for the charger and installing it somewhere, doesn't get you the power to it, running, do it and all of that out to the parking lot from a building, that's actually often a more expensive piece than installing the charger. So that that that money that effort needs to get subsidized as well. We're setting up at the county a sustainability fund of local using local dollars to fund the infrastructure of our county buildings to put in more chargers because we can get the grants to put often to put the chargers in but the grants don't cover the running the conduit to it

Dina Rasor:

and are areas unique because we have a community as and called MCE Green Clean Energy, but we have a unique community power source, right? And a lot of people don't understand that. pg&e is just the transmission and one of the things that they've been doing because they're they're actually pro core like theirs. They are putting these canopies over parking lots and halls or whatever, office buildings putting solar panels on top of those. Yeah. And it helps them to weigh as well and then have charging stations on those. And that makes a lot of sense because you're the electricity is going right to it. And the second thing is, is that not all sure they'd make enough of it just for that. But the other part of it is is it keeps the call CARS cooler so you don't have to use up as much energy to call the call CARS. Do you see that increasing there? They are they increasing that are using that as a solution or is that working?

John Gioia:

Yeah, so So I'm on the actually I'm on the board of MCE I'm Contra Costa as representative on that board. And for folks who may not be aware we have a great movement here in California called Community Choice energy, which is now when a local city or county says we want to move to Community Choice, basically everyone and we did that in Contra Costa and pretty much most of the city's your you get your power generation from a public power entity called MCA. It's called MCE for marine clean energy because it was the first one in California was in Marin, but now it covers other counties including Contra Costa. So it's more like my clean energy. So what is Yeah, it's a public agency made up of cities and counties where the aid does public agency goes out and contracts for clean power generation. It still has to be transmitted through the pg&e transmission system. So you still get your bill from PG and E. But but but you're paying your power generation to MCE and it's an IT is an MCs goal, as Dana said, is to really move us toward clean electricity, clean power, and MCE does have, as you say, Deena programs to try to get people to install Evie chargers at their home, low income, whereas it has a sub has offered has grants and opportunities for lower income residents in the service area, to install to install these electric electric chargers, as well as a certain, like work location. So, you know, it's it's, you know, getting back to this issue of federal dollar. And this is exactly why I think at least in California, the Federal dollars are great, and they can be layered on what's already happening and not set up a whole new set of standards that don't make sense in California where we were more than any other state we've been doing this work. I mean, I spent a lot of time on EV charging as you can tell, I mean in my various roles and and understand where we need to put more and, and where the gaps are. And you know, we'd like federal dollar in this case, we would like federal dollars as flexible as possible. Now, another state may be different. But in California, I think this is an issue that maybe the degree of flexibility on federal dollars should And upon where it's going. Because you always want accountability for sure you want it and I, you know, you want to make sure that we're spending it properly. Like, for example, you know, in a perfect world, in my perfect world, at least, when you're putting out federal dollars you try to have in this case for Evie chargers, you try to have the priority be in communities that need them lower income communities that don't have as many chargers and fill the gap that way, I think that would be a great use of dollars. And then accountability is to make sure that those dollars are being spent to put in locations that are your highest priority, and that you're not putting them in all the high income communities that don't need as much

Dina Rasor:

I can imagine the difference in what is needed. From California to Montana, Montana, they just got these giant stretches,

John Gioia:

right, like, like, hey, it's

Dina Rasor:

driving and, and you know, and you know, near the freeways, if you're gonna do that freeway goes across Montana, Montana, you better hope there's chargers, because the long way

John Gioia:

why, like also, if, you know, hey, just like you, when federal dollars go to states, you know, a perfect example, because I dealt with this in another area when the the federal government dispense a fair amount of money for after school programs over the years. And they what they did was they set some minimum standards, because, you know, our state of California has as dollars for after school programs. And so there were certain standards and how the the Federal dollars are to be met, ought to be spent. And that made, I think it made sense in a number of states. And then they started block granting those dollars. And, you know, I'm not sure I trust Louisiana and Alabama in terms of how they're going to spend that those dollars. So that's where having some federal parameters make does does make does make some sense. So it just depends on on the field of the dollars. The one thing I will say, one of the things, you know, one of the streams of money we get from the federal government, from Housing and Urban Development, and the some of this can get used for, you know, environmental justice purposes and fixing up housing is community development block grant dollars. And I have to say, you know, being pretty familiar with that source of funding, there are so many hoops and requirements, it's such a small amount of is another example, where there's a small amount of federal government money that comes into the mix. Sometimes folks don't want to take it, because of the federal requirements that exist of documenting. Well, attention requirements, it makes more sense when the Federal dollars are a larger piece of the pump funding. I mean, if you're getting, you know, a $50,000 grant, it's spending, you know, a half a million of other dollars to build, let's say improve environmental conditions at a senior center in North Richmond, you know, all the hoops, you have to jump through often. With regard to that federal those federal dollars, make some entities not want to apply for those for that money. So I I raised that in terms of scale, as well. But that, you know, having very strict, you know, documentation requirements for small amounts of many make many nonprofits, that just becomes a burden to them.

Greg Williams:

So how do you balance the desire to to have good documentation for as much of the money as possible while at the same time wanting to make the best use of the people who are most closely in touch with communities, which, let's say for the time being, tend to be the smaller municipalities, the smaller nonprofits, etc?

John Gioia:

Right. Yeah, that I think that's the magic question. And there's no one answer that it depends on. It depends on the type, what the type of funding what it's going to get used for how much the federal government is, is providing, you know, we got a $14 million grant, for example, a number of years ago to build to rebuild the health center, our West County Health Center was a $60 million project. And so most of it was local dollars, and we got $14 million of federal dollars to fill that gap. You know, the requirements were, were were, were reasonable. The trends and and usually the federal requirements are, a lot of them are timeliness of making sure the money is spent by a certain time. And I think that's generally a good requirement because you want to get the money out the door and the projects built but sometimes is legitimate reason for why the project may take longer to build. And so yeah, I think you want to Build It. And this is the case with funding we've gotten for health and homeless services, even environmental projects, like a flood control project, that you, you want to have some exceptions, you want to build in reasonable exceptions to that to certain requirements, like when you get the project built, or when you spend the money, because there may be legitimate reasons of why it may take longer. But so I think there's, I think there is a balance to be achieved. And I think you can have greater federal requirements where there's more money at stake, and less and, and making sure the requirements are meaningful requirements that really get truly to measuring transparency and accountability. Because sometimes their requirements are these bookkeeping documentation requirements don't really get in, if they don't always reflect accountability. And I saw, and I don't, you know, you know, so whoever's writing the standards of of documentation that are needed at the federal level, need to maybe consult with local folks who implement these projects and understand how do you truly you get you both talked about this measure true accountability, because sometimes the federal requirements and parameters don't do that. You see my point, make sure that they measure accountability. And that's going to depend on you know, everything, the measurements and out getting back to Greg to your point, measuring outputs is important. And that's going to be different, like building a wetland restoration project. You know, the output is going to be, you know, not just how much money you spend, but is the project going to be successful? You know,

Dina Rasor:

me school, needed school to,

John Gioia:

and be what, yeah, meet the goal. That's the goal. And that's going to depend on the project. And I think that's where consulting with the local folks who are working on these projects is helpful, like, like, the big example was flood control projects, right? Because lots of federal dollars come in, you know, flood control projects, or environmental projects in North Richmond, you know, we had creeks coming off the bay that were flooding a low income community. And then some, there were some requirements about that involved removing a lot of trees and vegetation, for example, that didn't make sense that our public works folks thought didn't make sense. So I think they just doing a better job working with local agencies who are implementing these projects and getting their feedback on what makes sense.

Greg Williams:

So I think you there's an intersection between a couple of these issues that it's worth talking about. And that is, you know, we don't want the the record keeping requirements to be onerous. And we don't want them to hold up meaningful progress on these projects. But Dena and I've just spent the last couple of weeks reviewing case after case of where accountability requirements were waived. And the net result was hundreds of 1000s. I'm sorry, hundreds of millions of dollars was spent on things like carbon capture plants that never either never went into operation, or ceased operation within less than a year of, of entering operation. And so I guess, yeah, yeah, I'm inclined to say, you know, one should never waive requirements on in order to get money out the door. Right, if you're waiving requirements, to get goals met, right. You know, that's an entirely different kettle of fish. Right. But you know, shoveling money out the door faster. Just, well, should never be a good reason for.

John Gioia:

Yeah, and I think I can tell you, one of the biggest issues that I've seen is the federal government sets, sometimes short and unrealistic deadlines for how fast to spend the money, that make it harder to properly plan and do a project that is often going to be subject to delays. Right. So I think that the probably one of the biggest headaches we face is right, the timeline of how fast to spend money, and it takes time and longer than everyone thinks is, you know, to build a good project and meet the requirements. I am. I am certain, you know, I know that there. There is such a, an enormous amount of federal dollars that get abused misspent, not spent properly, not properly accounted for. And so there needs to be very good clear. I think requirements that are understandable And so that those implementing the projects can understand and be clear about those requirements. Yeah. Because I mean, there are agencies all the time trying to find ways to spend the money so that this is what gets back to this issue, that there are good and bad actors and all of this, and maybe that's not the right term there. There are I mean,

Dina Rasor:

we've done enough Pentagon's to know that the right term

John Gioia:

the federal government does is that's why it puts these standards to the best of its ability in these in the in their, in their funding, in their funding in, in their grants is making sure that local agencies carry carry it out. I think, and this is the problem for those of us that I think are trying to do a good job on this is, is that sometimes the standards they put in are are relevant and are good, and sometimes they they may not be, they may not be as informed as they should be. But it's tough to this. Yeah. And so I understand, they're going to err on the side of putting in the requirements to make sure the money is properly spent. But I agree, you know, getting money out the door fast isn't always the best thing. We're faced, we are facing that with a project we're building, which is 60 units of housing for previously homeless individuals, and how fast we have to get the money out and spent, and we're going to do it, we're going to make it work. But but you know, sometimes like or let's say on a wetland restoration project, it is, you know, things take longer and, and do things right. Getting it out fast isn't always the best way to do it. That is one of the biggest issues we face.

Dina Rasor:

There's sort of two, I think are red flags when it comes down to climate. And the large amount of money one is, you know, everybody's like, Oh, my God, here comes the asteroid. I mean, every climate scientist is pulling it running around with their hair on fire, excuse me. Yeah. And so that you naturally now have a real push, get the money out the door, get this done, get this done, get this done, because we are on a, you know, we are on a life and death deadline, by the way Pentagon uses the life and death bid thing all the time. The second thing is, is that when you've done some big huge amounts of money, like for example, the Recovery Act, and from that Obama put out in that course, that was just like, more than that wasn't as much infrastructure kind of signs. But they put a lot of requirements and whatever. And it was, Joe Biden was in charge of it. And he his chief of staff at that time was wrong client. And they did a supposedly very good job. I think the numbers are a little too good to be true. But they did they put in for that specific tranche of big money, which was not your normal appropriations, they put in all kinds of safeguarding things that were appropriate to the what they were trying to do not the standard federal government where the bureaucrat puts it in, but they say, the this particular problem has these particulars, I knew that the Wall Street people will just try to, you know, really rip it off. These are the things we need to do. And this is how we're going to have oversight. And they did fairly fast. And they did that not that many problems with the problem is is that the when they pass it through Congress, they put those rules in there for somebody who knew what was going to happen to that money. If you've let it out loose, you know, people I guess we've seen, seen it on the other side. And what really scares me about what they've done with the infrastructure bill. And now they're they're actually saying that the bill back better. People are telling me the good government, people and people who they're talking to people in Congress, the infrastructure bill went through with none. None of these things, it says it wouldn't be the same rules as you would be doing on the Recovery Act, but they just kind of thing you're talking about, you've got this ying and yang of fast, you know, fast but responsible. And you're on the side that you understand how long it takes to get things through government and people in local communities and everybody not agree. And then but of course, they want to do it fast for political reasons and for ecological reasons. And so I think there could be a set of rules. I'm just terrified that this money that's basically unprecedented. I mean, it's 7.2 billion for the charging stations, and they wanted 15. I mean, we have to do it. It's very important, but boy, that the deal is not ready for that. I just read an article the other day about how they don't even have enough staff to even think about being ready. And so if you don't have the Congress trying to put in rules, and you leave it to the bureau So I'm really worried about that. And I think that's something that you're bringing up too. So it's how would you try to balance that fast versus?

John Gioia:

Yeah? Well, I think that becomes an issue of, again, depending on the expenditure of that is where giving greater flexibility. If you have a if you have a deadline for a project, and in you know, that's reasonable to put some deadlines is to put in flexibility to extend that deadline, based upon the local circumstances. So maybe back to the federal government, and you get an extension on when you need to build that project, if you're running into certain issues that you need to deal with. So that's how I would deal with it. You know, what things that occurred to me, as we were talking is, you know, getting back to outputs clearly on on climate change projects, or environmental type projects building in the metric of, you know, we have measures of greenhouse gas reduction goals of greenhouse gas reduction goals, right. How much greenhouse gas emissions, are you are you achieve, you know, reductions are you achieving, and other health benefits, I always think the metric of health benefits and GHG reduction are really important on climate change on climate projects. And because those those can be, you know, they're measurable, you know, generally, and usually, you like to have a combination of GHG reductions with CO Bennett co benefits in health, because when you're lowering GHGs, you're also lowering other kinds of pollutants, whether it's particulate matter, or, you know, toxics, or, or, or, you know, criteria pollutants. So, you know, you want to measure, I think those are two good measurements to have is you just you want to project, it's going to achieve real community benefit from global health or community health.

Dina Rasor:

Yeah, that's right. I think I think that's, you know, it probably the problem with dealing with carbon reduction is it still seems like a long way off, right? Well, asthma rates in Richmond are bad. And if people could see this is going to help your child because we're getting rid of the fine particulate matter as well as the other,

John Gioia:

right, you want to get rid of you want to also like, you know, a reduction of, of let's say, greenhouse gases at the Chevron refinery, are going to also if by putting in let's say, some, some pollution control equipment or requiring them to, to change out equipment can achieve both the health benefits of reduced toxics as well as reduce GHGs. Right. So you get that you get, I think you'd more and more need to reduce the pollution at the source, right? I mean, carbon capture is about letting the pollution still happens, then you're capturing the carbon. And and when I say the pollution still happens, that means the negative health impacts are still happening, right? You're capturing you're capturing the carbon but you're not you're doing nothing to reduce the the let's say toxic or criteria pollutants that are impacting people's health.

Dina Rasor:

And why is similar with the coal? I didn't my family farm in Kentucky and I in there was a coal plant there and I had stood on top of a coal ash mountain and the viral mental, you could you know, you could stop you could take the carbon out of the air, but boy, that coal ash, right,

John Gioia:

right, right. Right, right.

Dina Rasor:

Okay, great. We're gonna say something,

Greg Williams:

I'm afraid I think you guys have already covered it. Okay, we've covered a lot. I'm wondering how many more of these threads do we have time to tug on there's no shortage, you know, there's there's no release, there's relocating carbon release, you know, which is what you get when you substitute gasoline for electric but you know, generate the electric with with coal, you can defer it even further by making an in a nuclear power plant where all kinds of carbon is released in the production of the concrete that goes into it. There are just endless questions of of how far you chase the the carbon, you know, how long does it need to be sequestered? In order to get credit for it, but from my perspective, these are all great places to start. And I guess one thing I like both of your feedback on is there's a difference between having goals and making claims against those goals versus standards for proof, you know, so if you do something like put out a bunch of chargers, and you don't really have a direct way of measuring how much less gasoline is burned, you're gonna be making claims of reduction in greenhouse gases. And you may also make claims about reduction in in negative health impacts. I personally think it's more important to encourage people to make those claims. So that you have some means of beginning to assess what you got for your dollar than it is for what I think would be a much greater effort to make the make the proof of those claims airtight. You know, so, of course, anytime you allow somebody to make claims without airtight standards of proof, there's room for abuse, or, or mistakes, frankly, but I think in the in the carbon capture projects that you and I have been discussing over the last couple of weeks, but they didn't even bother to make any claims. And, and they they focused on getting the money out the door. And when they waived the, the the standards in order to do so they didn't make any particularly direct claims about you know how waiving the standards in and of itself would improve the timeframe, let alone the downstream positive health impacts. And so I think it's a good compromise to say, We want you to at least state what you think the goals are, and how the extent in which you fulfill them. And because you're providing us with that data, that gives us a much better starting place, you know, after the fact for us to assess the, you know, how much bang we got for our buck, than it would be to, you know, use the the, the old fashioned standard of just how fast did you spend the money?

John Gioia:

Yeah, and I'm, I'm not a big fan of carbon capture, because as I said earlier, I think, you know, we know the what normally happens when you reduce greenhouse gases, you get the CO benefit of reducing other types of, you know, pollutants that impact the health of the community near whatever that facility is so. So I always think the CO benefits of reducing greenhouse gases of health, the health benefits are really important to achieve. And that means reducing the pollution at the source, whether it's whether it's a mobile source, right, like a vehicle, or stationary source, like a refinery or or so that you that really it's important to, to get as much of a reduction at the source. And I also

Dina Rasor:

like to see who the beneficiary is. Because and you know, the beneficiary of the carbon capture is what it who's putting the money into it, and why are they so hot on it. And you know, it's big fossil fuel is hot on it, because that gives them a margin to keep doing what they're doing. If they think they can kick you, oh, well, we'll burn it, but then we'll capture it out. And maybe not at the source, you know, these plants that are supposed to sit there in sec, sec, carbonyls have not been successful. But you have to worry about just the same way when Big Tobacco came up with some ideas of how to, you know, make cigarettes more safe, you have to wonder and be worried about their motivation. And they're science and big fossil fuel pokemons just taking the playbook for that. So we I always want to know who you know, especially now they're going to be a look at shell companies and stuff. There's new laws on that is who is the big beneficiary of this. And I worry about a lot of money, but a lot of lobbying and a lot of pressure is pushing money towards carbon carbon capture, that's money is not going to be used on stuff that will work. Right? And so you got you got to then say, Okay, what's the benefit? It's always going to benefit this, this and this and this, but just like the tobacco industry would put up think tanks to show that this wasn't really a health problem. I'm worried about that. It's the greenwashing that goes on, and that's good. I think that's a cop more much more complicated thing than just talking about a grant. But I think that carbon capture, I see carbon capture capture is sort of like a way fighter in fighter planes are in the Pentagon. You know, they pretty much doesn't matter if they work or not. They just look cool. And you know And those companies make fighter planes. And so

John Gioia:

that's why we have government and regulators. Right is that I mean, I don't I don't trust the I don't trust the regulated community and in this case, the oil industry to come up with the solutions to climate change, just like I don't frost the tobacco companies would coming up with the solution to, you know, the cancer from cigarettes. It's right. That's why we are supposed to have a, you know, watchdog. Right, which is, you know, well informed government or regulators. I mean, I see this in my role with the barrier Quality Management District is, you know, why we, you know, we we come up with regulations to reduce pollution at facilities, and you don't want, you know, the facilities that are being regulated aren't the ones who are supposed to be, you know, deciding what it is to do. That's why we have regulations. And you know, and I like to call regulations protection, I forgot who it was that there was a, there was some public official nationally, who talked about the importance of, you know, when you use the term regulation, the right wing often says, See, they're trying to regulate us. They're telling us what to do. So I prefer using the term protections, that these are protections for the community, that that's what these are. So calling these protective measures rather than regulations just doesn't that sound better?

Dina Rasor:

Regulations during work? Yeah,

John Gioia:

right. They, I think the right wing is made regulations, a bad word, and people think of regulations as burdensome and not not always needed. Whereas I prefer calling them protective measures to you know, reduce pollution, improve people's health.

Dina Rasor:

Well, they tend to be against regulations until, until Chevron does some big huge flare, and then you get a lot of phone calls. Because they're like, yes, they can see it, now they can see this black smoke going over their neighborhoods, and then all of a sudden, a lot of people who are anti regulations, they call on using do something,

John Gioia:

right? Do something. Yep. As you know, people, people will will people understand the impacts of pollution more when they see it or smell it than when they don't. And we know that there's a lot of pollution that you can't see or smell that affects our health. But when you can see it and smell it, it really drives people to action.

Dina Rasor:

I've always said that if that if the airflow, the air the most. Almost all the time the wind rose airflow. For the chevron plant would have been over San Francisco rather than away from San Francisco, it would be gone because one day, you probably remember this big, black oily cloud, which Chevron's? I don't know where it's coming from, went over San Francisco in San Francisco nuts. And I'm sitting here going, we're having to deal with this every day, you know, it's here. And not in my backyard. Right. So that refinery has really amazing to me, you know, the protections they have,

Greg Williams:

right. So as as a diabetic, I can't help but expound my, my love of regulation and my wish that there was more of it. Because if my body regulated, its sugar better, I would be able to eat all the delicious pasta that I wanted to eat, and I wouldn't have to take all these expensive medications. So as much as I'd like protection as well, I don't want to yield the grounds of regulation.

John Gioia:

And I'm saying, I'm not saying I'm talking about languages, I'm not saying less regulation. I'm just saying, let's just call the regulation protective. That's what I'm saying. I'm not saying don't regulate, I find a lot of I think what we need to do is to use language, that one is understandable and to truly characterizes what it is we're doing. Because, you know, there's good and bad regulation. I think, you know, right. Most regulation well intended is a protection. So I like I like to call the regulations we've passed at the Air District not to do less of them, just call them protective measures. I mean, these are protections. So that's I'm just focusing more on I guess, the we, you know, and talk about these issues. And others if we want more public support for good regulation, let's call them what they are, which is protective measures.

Dina Rasor:

protection measures. Yeah.

John Gioia:

That's my point. You know, it's not giving up on it. It's just calling it something that that reflects what it's achieving, and which is protection, whether it's protection of the environment, protection of our health, you know, those kinds of things.

Dina Rasor:

Are we going to have to rename vaccines to

Greg Williams:

that's the point that I'm making. I think it is it is important to us Language thoughtfully. And to know when to sort of yield the the, let's say the right wings, having made a term unpalatable. But then there are other times when it makes sense to stand up for the literal meaning of words. I'm not going to weigh in on which side of that we should be on in this particular case, I like protection. I like regulation, saying, for me, personally, I'm going to stick by regulation because, you know, I am not up for a world in which a group of people against the naked word a dirty word, just because they don't like it.

John Gioia:

Yeah, there's a guy out of UC Berkeley, a linguist. And, Deena, why is my name escaping? You know, I've got it.

Dina Rasor:

You're talking about?

John Gioia:

And he George Lake off? Yes. And he's written a lot about how do progressives use language in ways that build more public support, like, you know, the Republicans will put out a bill that pollutes the sky, and call it the blue skies act? Well, that sounds nice, or, or they'll put out something that cuts down the forest and call it the Green, you know, the green forest act. I mean, so healthy forest. They are very good at using language to, to get people to support what they're doing. And I'm just saying, as progressives, how do we use language to counter what they're doing?

Dina Rasor:

Yeah, I've read some of his books, too. And my husband is a big one, but read them. He says, This is what's going wrong, you know, you gotta get this language. So yeah, I think that's part of it. Well, we had to change it from global warming to climate. Right? Because you know, what's there, I'm forgetting his name enough. The guy who was the head of the Environmental Committee, when the Republicans were in he, you know, it snowed one day, the burden was snowball,

John Gioia:

off Senator Inhofe

Dina Rasor:

snowball and throw it and he said, Oh, look, it's not global warming. So that, you know, they were smart, they changed, they change the name, but it's

John Gioia:

climate. Right. And climate change, right.

Dina Rasor:

Good or bad. I mean, you know, we, I wish to get out of the water from back east and the people back east, which we take it?

John Gioia:

Well, you know, the perfect example of this, I heard I was at some, you know, a lot of us support policies to achieve healthy eating in our communities. Right. And, you know, and, you know, and having more access to fresh produce, you know, less liquor stores, more access to fresh produce, you know, those kinds of better environmental kinds of things. And, and what the language a lot of people were using, oh, is we have to remove barriers to healthy eating. And, and it's like, the average person doesn't know what that means. People who work in this field know what it means. And what they found people understood is, oh, we need more farmers markets, we need more fresh produce in our communities. So instead of saying removing barriers to healthy eating, you say, oh, we need, you know, you know, this is what we want farmers markets, local grocery stores with produce, things like that. And people get that and support that where they don't know what bears barriers to healthy eating. I just think of all of the environmental things we work on. It's like, and we did this when we tried to Pat, when we passed our measure, we you know, we the San Francisco Bay restoration authority is funded out of a $12 per year parcel tax, that every parcel in the San Francisco Bay Area pays, it raises about 20 million a year. Not a lot, lot more, but it's 20 million a year. And we got 70% of the Bay Area to vote for that years ago. And a lot of the projects are wetland restoration. But views terms like this is about a cleaner Bay. Because people say well, what's a wetland we said what it did, but we use also terms like this is also about a cleaner Bay, better access to the bay. And so we came up with language that people understood. And I just think that's something you know, as progressives on environmental issues we should think about,

Dina Rasor:

well, in our in our mission statement, we actually talk about marrying up the fact of just not climate change and climate change and ecological Bateman cleaning up the stuff because you know, climate change is going to change that coal ash field it may make it so it doesn't get bigger. That coal ash mountain that drains down into the all these communities, but it doesn't get rid of the mountain. Some that thing has to be removed and removed carefully. And it you know, the Superfund sites and are willfully not funded. So we're trying to say, you can get people who don't understand the distance of climate change also say, well, oh, by the way, this will also clean up your air, your water, your food, pollutants. It's just like putting in new transmissions, things, you say, well, we will fry less, you know, less communities, right, you know, get pg&e to clean up their act.

Greg Williams:

So it as much as I enjoy all of this, and we'd be happy to continue to make it definitely I want to make sure that we're focusing our time and and our listeners time on the topic we set out to cover which is what are the what are the pluses and minuses and the ins and outs of regulating federal money when it's spent through state, county and local governments. I feel like we've explored some really instructive examples, especially in the context of, of Evie charging. If there's more to cover in these areas, I think we should continue on. But I also want to thank John for his time. And if it makes more sense for him to get back to doing the good work of being a supervisor.

Dina Rasor:

With our question, if you were king of the world, what would be the biggest thing you change?

John Gioia:

What would be the biggest thing I would change to change the world?

Dina Rasor:

To change the climate change regulation? Make sure the money spent correctly?

John Gioia:

Well, let me let me I want to give two answers. Because the first answer is the core of all everything. And this is remember, the son of a high school civics teacher is an history teacher is one education. The more I have, the more people are educated and informed the better choices we make as a society, the less the more tolerance for the more the more acceptance of science, then per city, and tolerance. So that that for me is I'll just start with that. Because I think that this because it invites the education and all of the public supports good programs, and environmental good, responsible environmental practices and policies, when they understand the benefit that those policies and practices have, and that an education is a part of it. So that that to me, starts with that. Second, you know, to give my other answer is, I think I'm a strong believer that no, the federal government should be working with local communities, as it thinks about putting its regulations and parameters together to understand what you know, when I say with local communities, you know, working with local agencies and communities to as they craft their requirements, because ultimately, and I like to say responsible local agencies, because the entities that are going to be implementing and carrying out the projects that are funded by these federal dollars, can provide meaningful input. You know, the responsible ones, at least into how to set the best practices for accountability. And obviously, you know, we you want wise people at the federal level, translating that into meaningful regulations and parameters. But I think the consultation with the local level makes a lot of sense, because these are folks who are building and doing these projects at the local level. And a perfect example that we talked about at length is Eb charging. We have a lot of knowledge about how to try to make EB charging work, and be equitable, be efficient, effective, and the federal government can benefit by hearing that.

Greg Williams:

All right. Well, I think those are both great ideas. I like to think that this podcast is Dinas in my contribution to the education part of that equation. You achieve nothing out and nothing other than a more informed electorate, I think will counter our mission is having been achieved. Well, thanks for listening in and a more formal thanks to you, John. And expressed the hope that this is the first of many podcasts where we we do our best to collect him and distribute that that local perspective

Dina Rasor:

thank you so much thank you

John Gioia:

bye

Dina Rasor:

bye

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