Want Clean Air? Get out of Phoenix

Besides not being able to get to work and setup a Budget for Arizona the State Legislators also want to repeal what little work they have done this year. Most notably is the Clean Car Program and the ability for Governor Napolitano to participate in the Western Climate Initiative. This is really an offense to all intelligent citizens in the State of Arizona. You are doing yourself and injustice by not calling your legislator and complaining about this. Use this site to find your Legislator and call them immediately to stop HB2017.

From the Sierra Club:

May 12, 2008

For Immediate Release: Contact: Sandy Bahr (602)253-8633

Diane E. Brown (602)318-2779 (c)

Arizona Legislature Seeks to Thwart Clean Air and Clean Cars Efforts

Today, the Arizona legislature passed HB2017 intending to put the Clean Cars Program on hold and also make it impossible for the Governor to effectively participate in the Western Climate Initiative. This effort comes less than a week after the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council voted in favor of the Clean Cars Program citing the legal authority for Arizona to proceed once the federal government acknowledges the right of the states on this issue. In passing the Clean Car Standards, Arizona joins 13 other states, over a third of the U.S. market.

The Clean Cars Program known for limiting health-damaging pollution from automobiles and paving the way for the widespread introduction of technologies such as hybrid-electric and fuel-cell vehicles, direct-injection engines, advanced transmissions, improved air conditioning systems, and other technologies with the potential to reduce pollution, previously received a unanimous recommendation from the Governor’s Climate Change Advisory Group (CCAG). The CCAG was comprised of diverse stakeholders including utility, business, public health, environmental, tribal and other leaders.

Aside from the stakeholder process, over 75 small businesses and organizations from across the state have stated their support for the Clean Cars Program in Arizona. In addition, thousands of Arizonans have written letters, signed postcards and sent emails to urge the advancement of the Clean Cars Program.

“There are only two options for a state: either the federal standard or the clean car standard. The clean car standard results in cleaner air and lower total transportation costs,” stated Jeff Schlegel, Arizona representative for the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP). “The federal standard results in dirtier air and higher total transportation costs due to higher fuel use and gas prices. It is time to stop the delay tactics and move the clean car standard forward in Arizona.”

“Republicans for Environmental Protection does not believe that good policy is made when the sole intention is to thwart action by agencies previously given legislative authority to act,” said Tina Beattie, Arizona coordinator for Republicans for Environmental Protection. “We also are concerned greatly by removing Arizona from the Western Climate Initiative as Arizona’s economic interests need to represented within the region.”

“Through their vote to put the Clean Cars Program on hold, the legislature failed to see the warning signs of global warming in our state and ultimately took a wrong turn,” stated Diane E. Brown, Executive Director of the Arizona Public Interest Research Group (Arizona PIRG). Brown pointed to the auto industry as leading the charge against the Clean Cars Program in Arizona and states across the country and added, “The auto industry needs to shift gears from spending money on lawyers and lobbyists trying to halt clean air improvements to putting cleaner vehicles on the roads to reduce the brown cloud, decrease asthma attacks and provide some relief to consumers at the gas pump.”

“If we leave it to the big utilities and the auto manufacturers, who brought this bill to the legislature, Arizona would just sit on its hands relative to cleaning up our air and reducing the emissions that contribute to global warming,” said Sandy Bahr, Conservation Outreach Director for the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter. “Fortunately, most Arizonans and the governor support a different strategy – our health, our economy, and the future of our children depend on us acting now to address these critical issues.”