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State's 'Green' political party cautiously optimistic about Air Resources Board smog plan, but warns ARB could backslide, killing thousands in state

GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS RELEASE

SACRAMENTO (December 15, 2008) - The Green Party of California, the state's only "Green" political party, cautiously applauded a bold plan by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) last week to reduce greenhouse-gases and curb death-dealing diesel fumes - but warned that the state in the past has failed to follow through on similar promises.

"The costs of not acting quickly and decisively are un-imaginably huge. These rules will eventually provide needed protections for the public. But the ARB has shown it is all too willing to modify requirements when asked to so by business interests. It is a shame that many of the people hit hardest by diesel fumes are not able to testify, as corporations can, because they're dead from the bad air," said the Green Party of California.

"Diesel particulates are suspected brain carcinogens. These small particles can pass through the blood brain barrier and suspected to cause the most dangerous and malignant brain tumors such as Glioma and Astrocytoma. It's about time to start regulating trucks which are poisoning our air," said Sara Amir, GPCA spokesperson and a manager with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.

"The Green Party of California is sympathetic to small, independent truckers, and wants to make sure they are given low or no-interest loans and other financial incentives so they can comply with the rules," said Wes Rolley, co-chair of the U.S. Green Party EcoAction Committee.

But, he added, the "ARB must be reminded that the 'economic issue' they are so concerned about regarding small owner-operators, while important, should be trumped by the 'costs' of $28 billion in annual economic costs, thousands of premature deaths, 2,800 emergency room visits driving up healthcare costs, 466,880 days of lost work because of air pollution related illnesses and 1,259,840 lost school days which affect education quality and cost our schools money they sorely need." (http://campusapps.fullerton.edu/news/2008/091-air-pollution-study.html)

The Greens also said "cap and trade" doesn't work, and that traditionally, low-income people in urban areas will continue to pay a big price for pollution. "For the Carbon Trading process to work quickly, the cost for carbon permits must be sufficiently high to 'force' changes in economic behavior. But Gov. Schwarzenegger and CARB chief Mary Nichols are not willing to go that far," said Rolley.

-30-

Contacts:
Susan King, Spokesperson, 415.823.5524,
Daniel Brezenoff, Spokesperson, 310.422.2211,
Cres Vellucci, Press Secretary, 916.996.9170,

The Green Party of California
PO Box 2828
Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437
Web: http://www.cagreens.org
EMail:

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