February 2, 2012

On Friday January 27th, the California Air Resources Board unanimously voted to adopt advanced clean car standards.  SF Bay Area PSR was part of the advocacy effort to reduce air pollution from cars sold in our state: we stood with more 20 health and medical organizations in a letter urging CARB to adopt the clean car standards.

Our chapter was part of another recent effort that culminated just last month in CARB’s unanimous decision to reject oil industry attempts to weaken the state’s low carbon fuel standard (LCFS).  SF Bay Area PSR and 26 other health and medical organizations signed on to a letter in support of the LCFS.  The LCFS, which requires a 10 percent reduction in the carbon content of fuels by 2020, will contribute to the fight against climate change and encourage a shift to healthier transportation options such as renewable energy and hydrogen, as well as advanced biofuels, which will reduce the devastating impacts of vehicle pollution on the health of Californians.

Below is a press release by the American Lung Association in regard to CARB’s January action on clean cars.

American Lung Association In California Applauds Historic CARB Decision On Advanced Clean Car Standards

Statement by Jane Warner

President and CEO, American Lung Association in California

The American Lung Association in California applauds today’s historic California Air Resources Board (CARB) vote to adopt advanced clean car standards that will transform California’s vehicle fleet, promote cleaner fuels and improve public health.  Under these strong new rules, cars sold in our state will produce dramatically less pollution, cause fewer asthma attacks and less lung damage, and cut our dependence on dirty oil.  This decision today is a victory for everyone in California, but especially for the millions of individuals living with asthma or other lung illnesses.

Today’s “win-win” action again demonstrates California’s strong commitment to leading the country toward cutting-edge clean air technologies.  The standards are a win for public health because they will reduce a leading source of harmful pollution that leads to health emergencies such as hospital and emergency room visits, asthma attacks and other lung illnesses, heart attacks, strokes, and premature deaths.  Research conducted by the American Lung Association in California shows that California can save billions of dollars each year and avoid thousands of asthma attacks and lung illnesses each year when these new standards are fully implemented.  Each advanced vehicle produced under this regulation will help to bring cleaner, healthier air.

The American Lung Association in California supports the entire package of regulations, but is calling special attention to the importance of the Zero Emission Vehicle program.  Today’s expansion of the ZEV program will ratchet up the numbers of electric vehicles on the road today to almost 1.5 million vehicles.  Zero emission vehicles provide the greatest health and air quality benefits to the residents of California and are the best solution for our pollution and climate change problems.  California’s future must be a zero emission future.  Because of the importance of these rules, we call on the board to track the numbers of zero emission vehicles produced under this regulation very closely and ensure the regulation lives up to its promise.

Given the importance of continued progress to ratchet down on particle pollution that causes serious harm to lung health, we support the new, stronger particle pollution standard included in the package and applaud the board’s resolve to study the possibility of accelerating implementation of that standard.

Thanks to the board’s  action today, millions of cleaner vehicles will roll off production lines and into California neighborhoods over the next 13 years.  While there is much more work to be done in the fight for clean air, today is a day to celebrate less smog, less soot, less carbon pollution and less dependence on dirty oil in California’s future.