CU joins public interest groups to oppose AB 69

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The Honorable Henry Perea
California State Capitol
Room 3120
Sacramento, CA 95814

Re: AB 69 – OPPOSE

Dear Assembly Member Perea:

We are writing on behalf of health, environmental and consumer organizations to express our strong opposition to your Assembly Bill 69 that would exempt oil companies and other fuel providers from implementation of California’s landmark clean air and clean energy law, AB 32, for the next three years. Climate change is one of the most important public health threats of our century and CARB’s leadership in reducing greenhouse gas pollution through a mix of measures, including cap and trade, is critical to address this challenge and set the model for other states and nations.

Over-dependence on dirty fossil fuels has been the major contributor to climate pollution and the state’s severe smog and soot problems.  California cities continue to dominate the list of the most polluted cities in the United States. For the first time, in the American Lung Association’s 2014 State of the Air report, Fresno was listed as the most polluted city in America due to fine particulates, followed by Visalia, Bakersfield, Los Angeles and Modesto.  As you are aware, the crisis of air pollution harms everyone, but especially our most vulnerable and disadvantaged populations, including those with asthma, chronic bronchitis and other lung and heart illnesses as well as children, seniors, and the millions living in poverty.  The road to cleaner, healthier air requires a transformation of our transportation fuels and technologies starting in the hardest hit areas like the Valley and Southern California.

California must transition away from dirty fossil fuels and embrace the real solutions in AB 32 to avoid a tremendous and increasing public health burden on all communities, especially those most burdened by air pollution.  Recent research demonstrates that California can save over $23 billion in health and societal costs and avoid 38,000 asthma attacks by 2025 by moving forward with important rules like cap and trade and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard.  We must move forward quickly with key AB 32 programs, including cap and trade, to achieve these benefits.

For these reasons, we oppose AB 69 that would exempt transportation fuels from the AB 32 Cap and Trade program until 2018. Doing so would undermine the climate change, clean air and social equity benefits of AB 32. The AB 32 program was carefully designed to ensure that all sectors of the economy support the clean air and clean energy needs we face.  Opposing important regulations on gasoline and other transportation fuels, the largest contributor to climate and criteria air pollution in California, is a step backward from the progress made so far to protect the public from harmful fossil fuel emissions.

Because the San Joaquin Valley is home to four of the five most polluted cities in America, our groups are deeply engaged in efforts to strengthen air quality rules and programs and to build healthier, more equitable communities to improve air quality throughout the San Joaquin Valley.  Air quality and health advocates in the Valley and statewide are working hard to promote and implement policies that improve health and quality of life in the region.  AB 32 policies, including cap and trade, are strengthening our work and bringing community benefits, and we ask your help to protect and strengthen these programs.

Thank you for your attention to our concerns and we look forward to discussing this further with you.

Sincerely,

Kris Calvin | American Academy of Pediatrics – California

Bonnie Holmes-Gen | American Lung Association in California

Andy Katz | Breathe California

Jena Price | California League of Conservation Voters

Robert Benjamin, MD | California Public Health Association – North

Lisa Hoyos | Climate Parents

Bill Magavern | Coalition for Clean Air

Rachelle Wenger | MPA, Dignity Health

Michelle Kinman | Environment California

Joel Ervice | Regional Asthma Management and Prevention (RAMP)

Robert M. Gould | MD, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, Physicians for Social Responsibility

Gloria Thornton | MA, San Francisco Asthma Task Force

Kathryn Phillips | Sierra Club California

Stuart Cohen | TransForm

Loni Russell | Moms for Clean Air Force

Miya Yoshitani | Asian Pacific Environmental Network

Mark Carlson | Lutheran Office of Public Policy – California

Shannon Baker-Branstetter | Consumers Union

Sara Kent | Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation

Katelyn Roedner Sutter | Catholic Charities, Diocese of Stockton

Marce Gutiérrez | Azul

Ariana Rickard | California Urban Streams Partnership

Marylia Kelley | Tri-Valley CAREs

Ron Sundergill | National Parks Conservation Association

Paul Mason | Pacific Forest Trust

Jim Mangia | MPH, St. John’s Well Child and Family Centers

Shan Magnuson | Sonoma County Asthma Coalition

Francisco Covarrubias | Asthma Coalition of Los Angeles County

Dennis Murphy | US Green Building Council California Chapter

Andrew Grinberg | Clean Water Action

Emiliano Mataka | Valley Improvement Projects

Lynn Kersey | MA. MPH., Maternal and Child Health Access

Alex Jackson | Natural Resources Defense Council

Omar Carrillo | Community Water Center

Michelle Passero | The Nature Conservancy

Ann Hancock | Climate Protection Campaign

Angela Price | Fresno Center for Nonviolence Dedicated to Peace and Social Justice

Cesar Campos, Central California Environmental Justice Network, representing the following groups: Fresno Metro Ministry, Central Valley Air Quality Coalition, Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, California Prison Moratorium Project, Air Quality Guy, Wasco Rosas Comite, Kettleman City-El Pueblo Pare El Aire y Agua Limpio, Avenal- Lucha por Salud y Justicia Ambiental, Kettleman City- Kids Protecting Our Planet, San Joaquin Valley Latino Environmental Advancement & Policy Project, Grayson Neighborhood Council, Tri-County Watchdogs, Lindsay- Quinta Sol, Californians for Pesticide Reform, El Comite para Bienstar de Earlimart, Fairmead Community and Friends, Stockton- Fathers Matter, Madera for Better Community and Schools, CRLAF, West Fresno Community

Kevin Hamilton | RRT, Clinica Sierra Vista, Medical Advocates for Healthy Air (MAHA)

Eric Lerner | Health Care Without Harm

Darcel Lee | California Black Health Network

Tim O’Connor | Environmental Defense Fund

Brent Newell | Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment

Nick Lapis | Californians Against Waste

Mary Luévano | Global Green, USA

Linda Rudolph | Public Health Institute

Chuck Mills | California ReLeaf

Jeanie Ward-Waller | Safe Routes to School National Partnership

Josh Fryday | NextGen Climate

S. Alecia Sanchez | California Medical Association

Steve Heilig | MPH, San Francisco Medical Society

Luis Ayala | Los Angeles County Medical Association

Gary Gero | Climate Action Reserve

Praveen Buddiga | MD FAAAAI, Baz Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Center

Sonal R. Patel | M.D, M.S., White Memorial Pediatric Medical Group

Heidi R. Flori | M.D., California Thoracic Society

Adrienne Alvord | Union of Concerned Scientists

Krysta Titel | MPH, San Joaquin County Asthma and COPD Coalition |