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Air Resources Board decision to delay diesel emission rules would be 'criminal,' and will cost Californians dearly in lost lives, and medical costs, charges Green Party

GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS RELEASE

SACRAMENTO (December 9, 2009) - If planned life-saving regulations mandating new, sensible diesel pollution are abandoned today (Wednesday) by the California Air Resources Board it could be considered a "criminal" act that will inexcusably continue the suffering and shortened lives of millions of people in the state, said the Green Party of California.

The ARB is deciding whether to delay - once again - the long-sought regulations because industry now claims the recession has cut the use of diesel-polluting trucks and equipment used in construction and the regulations are not necessary. The regulations are due to take effect in 2011.

The Green Party argues that reduced diesel use because of the recession should not delay the mandated retrofits and upgrades. The party suggests that the air is still dirty and dangerous, and that the state should do more, not less.

"The savings in lost lives and medical costs far outstrips industry claims, which pale by comparison to the $28 billion lost per year to the California economy because of bad air. To not move forward with these regulations would be criminal," said Wes Rolley, member of the Green Party of the United States Eco-Action committee.

"Industry, naturally, wants to have these rules delayed - something it has managed to do several times over the years which has helped pollute our air and sicken our people. Industry says it wants more 'breathing' room. But, what we all need is clean, breathable air for Californians who daily have to suffer from the deadly fumes spewed from these trucks, and watch their families needlessly suffer from this pollution," said Lisa Green, 2010 Assembly candidate from Venice.

In fact, say Greens and other environmentalists, the regulations are expected to prevent at least 10,000 premature deaths a year - and save billions of dollars in medical costs and work time loss to the public.

-30-

Contacts:
Susan King, Spokesperson, 415.823.5524,
Derek Iversen, Spokesperson, 323.481.8984,
Laura Wells, Spokesperson, 510.504.4254,
Cres Vellucci, Press Secretary, 916.996.9170,

The Green Party of California
PO Box 2828
Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437
Web: http://www.cagreens.org
EMail:

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