Levin, Jeffries highlight federal funding for climate and conservation efforts at Del Mar press conference

(From left) Del Mar City Councilmember Dave Druker, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and U.S. Rep. Mike Levin.
(Luke Harold)

The congressmen marked the one-year anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act


U.S. Rep. Mike Levin and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries held a press conference in Del Mar to mark the one-year anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act, highlighting some of the federal funding that has been allocated to coastal communities in North County.

The Biden administration has been emphasizing the ways that the bill is supposed to help communities achieve their climate goals.

“This community knows the reality of the climate crisis,” said Levin, D-San Juan Capistrano, whose district extends south into coastal North County. “It is not theoretical for us. We see the eroding beaches, we see the collapsing bluffs, and we know how important it is to communities up and down this coast that we do all we can to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable future.”

The eroding bluffs are the main reason why the San Diego Association of Governments, or SANDAG, is moving ahead with plans to move the train tracks to an inland tunnel through Del Mar. SANDAG is hosting an open house at Del Mar City Hall on Aug. 30 to inform residents about how the plan is taking shape, such as the tunnel alignments under consideration to move the rail off the bluff.

A bluff collapse along Grandview Beach in Encinitas four years ago killed three family members: Encinitas residents Anne Davis Clave, 35, her mother Julie Davis, 65, as well as Davis’ sister (and Clave’s aunt) Elizabeth Charles, 62, of San Francisco.

“The climate crisis is real,” said Jeffries, who has represented New York in Congress for six terms, including the last year as House Minority Leader. “It’s upon us, and we cannot afford to bury our heads in the sand as a society.”

Inflation Reduction Act funding for California has so far included $499,100 for the Air Resources Board to add air quality monitoring in two communities, which will serve as a precursor to a statewide community air monitoring program, according to a news release from Levin’s office. It also allocated $499,900 for the South Coast Air Quality Monitoring District to improve air monitoring and help reduce local pollutant emissions and exposures, as well as $3 million for the State of California and $1 million for SANDAG to reduce air pollution.

The U.S. Department of Energy released a report earlier this month detailing the goals of President Biden’s agenda, including passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which included the reduction of U.S. net greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030 (relative to 2005 levels), reduction of net crude oil imports by 60%, and doubling the share of U.S. electricity generated by clean sources.

Last year, more than 100 economists said in a letter that the Inflation Reduction Act “represents the single biggest step to date in tackling the climate crisis.”

Del Mar Mayor Tracy Martinez also mentioned $750,000 in federal funding that the city received for its Climate Resiliency and Access Improvement Project.

“This project will help protect critical natural resources here in the San Dieguito Lagoon, and it is an important part of the response to the effects of climate change,” she said.