Monday, June 16, 2008

Read The News Today? Oh Boy!

California’s budget deadline passed over the weekend, but today’s newspaper brought worse budget news.

Republican lawmakers told the Los Angeles Times they want to put off California’s efforts to control the pollution that causes global warming, and to stop harmful diesel emissions from choking Californians, Times reporter Evan Halper wrote today. Because California must obtain GOP votes to pass the annual budget, this proposal must be dealt with before our state’s financial plan can move forward.

None of these proposed rollbacks will have an immediate effect on the more-than-$15-billion revenue gap faced by the state, Halper’s story states.

These regulations don’t just mean cleaner air, they also save lives. Air
pollution causes some 24,000 early deaths each year in California, and particulate matter from diesel emissions contributes to those deaths.

California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, on the other hand, stimulates our state’s economic survival. For Californians affected by the recent economic downturn, the Global Warming Solutions Act also could mean new jobs. Venture capitalists poured $1.79 billion into the Golden State's green companies last year, accounting for 45 percent of all green investments in North America.

If this proposal sounds familiar, it’s something the Republicans first proposed in April, and we’ve been speaking out about it all this spring. Our allies in the health and labor communities have joined us in a simple message to the Legislature and governor: Don't allow our quality of life to be held hostage or traded away in budget negotiations.

-Bill Magavern, Director, Sierra Club California

See what Sierra Club California had to say about the budget plan in May

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