Fuel standards bill’s implementation is vital to California

By Dr. James K. Brown

Oakland Tribune My Word © 2013 Bay Area News Group

August 6, 2013

One year ago Tuesday, a fire at Chevron’s Richmond oil refinery sent black smoke wafting across the East Bay.

Contra Costa Health Services asked residents to stay in their homes, close the windows, and wait it out. About 11,000 people sought medical treatment. Many suffered from eye, nasal and throat irritations that were short-lived. For those with pre-existing asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, their cough and shortness of breath increased dramatically, sometimes for extended periods.

This refinery fire was a dramatic demonstration that air pollution is bad for our health. A more compelling concern is the evidence that chronic, low-level exposure to air pollution has serious long-lasting adverse effects, including stunting of lung growth and increasing asthma among children, premature death in those with chronic lung diseases, and heart attacks.

Fueling a Better Future: The Many Benefits of Half the Oil

We can cut projected U.S. oil use in half over the next 20 years and create more than 1 million jobs, reduce annual oil spending by $550 billion, and eliminate 2 billion metric tons of global warming emissions per year by 2035

DOWNLOAD: Fueling a Better Future: The Many Benefits of Half the Oil

When it comes to oil use, our country is at a crossroads: we can put the U.S. on a path toward cutting projected oil consumption in half, or we can continue to threaten our health and economic well-being by moving to increasingly dirty, inaccessible, and dangerous sources of oil.

The choice is clear. It is time to commit to creating a future in which we live in healthier communities, prosper from a strong economy, and help safeguard our planet against the disastrous effects of climate change.

Now boarding for clean air: exposing United Airlines’ dirty wings

This is a guest post written with  Stop Fooling CA partner organization Flying Clean.

FlyingClean

United Airlines has the undistinguished honor of the worst overall airline performance, according to a recent report. With customer complaints that nearly doubled since last year, the airline’s reputation is anything but clean.

But the dubious recognition doesn’t shine a light on the company’s seedy underbelly of clean air and climate opposition

Flying Clean is partnering with Stop Fooling CA to uncover United Airlines, Big Oil and their friends’ closed-door efforts to block implementation of standards that would clean the skies and clear the air.

Airplanes burn dirty fuel that contaminates the air, contributing to respiratory illnesses throughout California and the nation.  Unfortunately, instead of cleaning up their act, United Airlines’ lobbyists have worked in Washington to block applying the Clean Air Act and other laws to reduce pollution from the aviation industry, one of the fastest growing carbon emissions sector in the world.

United Airlines’ dirty wings have a far reach that affects what’s happening right here at home, too. In California, current and former United Airlines employees are leading an oil-funded front group called “Fueling California” to mislead Californians and kill clean air and fuel standards.

Fueling California is a Chevron-funded group that purports to represent the interests of consumers, but instead is focused on finding ways to undermine our climate law and our clean fuels standards.

Bob Sturtz – the former managing director of strategic sourcing for United Airlines – is the President and CEO of Fueling California. And at his side is Melinda Yee Franklin, director of corporate and government affairs for United’s western region.

The oily front group held a closed-door meeting earlier this year to discuss alternatives to California’s clean fuel standard; it’s hard to imagine they had consumers’ interests at heart while trying to kill a popular state law that’s a critical step toward clean air and better health. While executives and lobbyists discussed how to avoid complying with the standard, they shut out health and environmental groups that represent millions of Californians.

We’re proud to partner with Stop Fooling CA to expose United Airlines and Fueling California’s secretive and dirty practices. It’s time to clean the air and Stop Fooling California.

To learn more about Flying Clean and to sign their petition calling on United Airlines to get on board with climate action, visit http://www.flyingclean.com/