Monday, September 10, 2007

Cleaning the Central Valley's Air: Over the Objections of Nicole Parra (& the Republicans)

Senate Bill 719 by Senator Mike Machado would add new members to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to represent the largest cities in the region, and add a doctor and air pollution expert to the Board. This area of the Central Valley has some of the worst air quality in the country - for example, one in six kids in Fresno has asthma.

The bill was brought up on the Assembly Floor this afternoon, and engendered a lively debate. Notably, the first two people to speak in favor of the bill - Assemblywoman Lois Wolk and Assemblyman Juan Arambula - both represent the Central Valley (as does the bill's author, Senator Machado). Predictably, a number of Republican Assembly Members spoke in opposition to the bill.

Perhaps most strikingly, Assemblywoman Nicole Parra (D - Hanford) absolutely railed against the bill, arguing the the air quality in the San Joaquin Valley is getting better, and there is no need for a more representative body with better technical and public health expertise. Given that the air in her district is making children sick at a very high rate, her opposition to this measure is . . . disappointing.

A large group of activists from the Central Valley Air Quality Coalition were doing last-minute lobbying in the Capitol today. Given that the bill passed off the Assembly Floor with 41 votes, our congratulations go out to them. And our thanks to all the Assembly members who voted for better representation of urbanites, public health and science on the San Joaquin Valley Air Board.


Bill Haller said...

Congrats to CVAQ!

This was a huge win!

On to the Governor's desk!

Anonymous said...

Time to unelect Parra

Anonymous said...

The Parra (horror) story only gets better from here.

According to the Secretary of State, it looks like Parra will be running for state Senate in 2010. She has already raised more than $175,000 from oil, agriculture, developers, insurance AND healthcare provider PACs.


Sue Doe-Nim said...

Off topic but I'm a little bugged with your blog as a whole.

I'm a Republican but I'm green and I've sent you money over the years. I've cycled through most of the western states and camped the whole way.

I've set up ropes courses for wheelchair bound children and taken them camping taking only pictures and leaving only footprints.

I don't drive an SUV nor do I use plastic grocery bags.

So when you attack the Republican party as a whole you lose any chance ever of having someone like me support your cause.

Your causes are valuable to us all and if you take the ANGRY politics out of it I'm sure you'll find that most of your donors will vote Dem but you might have a few more like me.

Unless, of course, you only want me if I'm green AND a Democrat.

Airman 1 said...

If Mrs. Doe-Nim is bothered by the tone of this blog, she would probably go ballistic if she saw the actual environmental voting record of the Republican Party Caucus. I think it's less than 20%. Individual and party records can be found at the California League of Conservation Voters website.

Sorry I don't have the web address handy. I should have thought of that before I started typing.

Sue Doe-Nim said...

Yes Airman but you see that you're alienating people with talk like that.

The environment should not be a partisan issue and I can't understand why the Sierra Club would write a blog that looks more like a 4 year old in a sand box.

It just doesn't make sense to me.

I don't vote a straight party line.

No thinking person would.

Blue is Green said...


You're a "concern troll."

Only one party stands up for the environment--the Democratic Party (and even they aren't always that great). The Republican Party--as presently constituted--does not. Although some individual R's (always ones in districts that should be voting for Democrats, see Chris Shays, e.g.) occaisionally do the right thing, the leadership of the party is EXTREMELY anti-environment.

If they get the reins of power again, it will be back to the bad old days. Sierra Club may finally be wising up to this, thanks to the penetrating analysis of Markos Moulitsas and Jerome Armstrong in their recent book CRASHING THE GATE.

Sorry Sue, but that's the way it is. The Republican Party and the conservative movement that owns and operates it is nothing but 100% bad news for the environment. If you can't see that, you're blind. If the environment is important to you, vote for Democrats. If coddling polluters and devlopers and endless war is your bag, then keep voting Republican. But don't come around here trying to lay that concern troll jive on us.

Blue is Green said...

By the way, Nicole Parra is probably the worst Democrat in the Assembly. I hope somebody from the Dean Florez faction (maybe Dean's mom?) cleans Parra's clock in the primary. Parra is a moral coward who has sold out her constituents time and time again.

four waters said...


regarding the partisan comments... i can certainly see how alienating it must feel to have a group you identify with be consistently bashed. i have similar issues with general categorizations.

in this case, though, there is a stated republican position, both implicit through their actions and explicit through their statements, which justifies this generalization. as a group (which they have put themselves into by voting in lock-step), they categorically believe that the environment is a comodity to be used, that global climate change is a hoax promoted by "environmentalists" in order to receive funding (so that we can continue to live the lavish lives we all became environmentalists to enjoy), and the free-market will solve all of our problems. these are stated republican positions. (i won't even go into the evolution issue, which seems to be more individual.) altho i am a registered Dem now, i haven't always been. i am now because the thought of a world predicated on the republican platform is horrific.
as a human, i agree, you may hold different opinions and be committed to to different ideals... but as a party, this is what they say they stand for. to argue a party's philosphy - especially when it impacts everyone - is not an attack against you, but rather an honest assessment of the results of their ideology.

i hope you will continue to do what you do... for the benefit of all. and i do hope you will continue to support the sierra club... for the benefit of all. although you have not, your party has lost its way.

Anonymous said...

Helpful Information Point #17

Yesterday, the "Gang of 14" voted AGAINST the Healthy Heart and Lung Act (AB 233 - Jones)

Sue Doe-Nim said...

Acutally I've only stayed red so I can vote for Ron Paul.

I'll be going libertarian after this election.

But I can't reconcile the angry environmentalist.

So, no cash for you.

Cuz I'm all into sweetness and whatnot.

The Treasurer said...

Damn, there goes ANOTHER 35 bucks!

What is wrong with you blogpeople?!

Anonymous said...

Come on, now, Sue...

Who has ever heard of a "happy" environmentalist?

Sierra Club California said...


It's perplexing that you posted your comment about perceived partisanship in response to our criticisms of a Democrat, Nicole Parra. We're not partisan -- we support those who do the right thing for the environment, and criticize those who side with the polluters, no matter their partisan affiliation.

Sue Doe-Nim said...

SCC, that's a little insincere don't you think?

Airman 1 said...

Sue, forgive me if I sound critical, but, as you stated and I think we all agree, you are rather heavy on the "whatnot" and perhaps you should look for a blog that deals with less substantial matters? People are fighting life and death struggles for a healthier, cleaner environment. People are dying. And all you do is criticize the "tone" of this blog.

Just to be fair, I did follow the links to your own blog and I have to say that, if "eye-stench" was a word, I would feel compelled to use it. Sorry.

But good luck with the Librarians. I hope I didn't offend you. I tried not to. But I probably offended you.