American Lung Association in California Applauds Vital Climate Legislation
(September 14, 2015)
The American Lung Association in California applauds the passage of SB 350 (De Leon) and AB 1288 (Atkins and Pavley) as critical measures to improve air quality and health, maintain California's strong leadership on climate policy, and add community perspectives to the state air board. We thank Pro Tem De Leon, Senator Pavley and Speaker Atkins for their incredibly hard work on SB 350, AB 1288 and other key climate legislation this year. Now that these bills are moving forward to the Governor, we look forward to working with the Governor, state legislature, the state air board and other agencies to achieve the goals of boosting renewable energy and energy efficiency while ensuring air quality benefits reach all communities. Driven by our mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, we strongly support these bills and the state's program to reduce climate pollution and move to a clean energy economy.
Largely due to petroleum and other fossil fuels, California is home to the most polluted air in the United States and our severe air quality problems are leading to thousands of premature deaths and hospitalizations every year and billions in health costs. State climate leadership, including the goals in SB 350, will drive down pollution and help deliver cleaner alternatives to harmful fossil fuels. We remain committed to protect the health and future health of all California communities, and particularly the most vulnerable individuals affected by pollution, including children, seniors and those with existing lung disease. We thank our and health organizations around the state for working together with us to support healthy air and climate leadership.
We are disappointed that the state legislature could not adopt the goal originally in SB 350 to reduce petroleum dependence, as petroleum fuels are a critical source of our air quality problems. However we will redouble our efforts to ratchet down fossil fuel emissions and promote low carbon and zero emission energy solutions. The oil industry continues to pour millions of dollars into campaigns that ultimately delay the fresh, clean air that our children deserve. The industry's latest misinformation campaign to preserve its hold on California's pocketbooks cost millions [link], distracting the debate away from their harmful impacts on the lives of millions of Californians living with asthma, COPD and other lung ailments.
The American Lung Association in California applauds the historic votes today and plans to continue the critical fight against lung-damaging pollution caused by oil and other fossil fuel.