Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Yes to cleaner cars and air in AZ, no on HB2017

Pollution harms us all, especially kids and the elderly. Blocking clean air programs is immoral.

PHOENIX -- People want cleaner air, cleaner cars, and reduced global warming pollution, but some politicians in the Arizona Legislature don't seem to care.

Unsupportable HB2017 (Konopnicki-R) would undercut clean car and clean air programs and significantly restrict the Governor’s ability to act to limit global warming pollution as well as other harmful pollutants.

The striker, Greenhouse emissions; regulations; fuel economy, would restrict implementation of programs to reduce global warming pollution unless they are expressly authorized by federal law, consistent with federal law, and no more stringent than federal law.

This is unnecessary and unwise. It will bring the clean car rule, which is on its way for final approval, to a screeching halt and also make it impossible for the Governor to effectively participate in the Western Climate Initiative, a critical effort to limit global warming pollution regionally.

People in the Phoenix area have suffered from poor air quality for several decades. The Tucson and Yuma areas and other parts of the state have air quality problems as well. Poor air quality harms our health and economy. Most of our pollution comes from cars and trucks and, on top of that, about 40% of Arizona’s global warming pollution also comes from vehicles.

With Arizona's rapid growth and an increase in the vehicle miles traveled that outpaces our growth, our pollution could grow by as much as 200 percent from 1990 to 2020. We cannot afford that, or to wait for more clean air and global warming failures from the feds.

The Arizona Senate should reject HB2017 and support moving forward with programs to clean up the air, limit global warming pollution, and to begin to address global climate change which is dangerously making Arizona and the southwest hotter and drier.

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