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Auto Pollution Bill Supporters Challenge Industry Smear Campaign on Capitol Steps

Rally to Address Lies Circulated by Auto Industry's Campaign

SACRAMENTO, CA (May 9, 2002) -- Supporters of the bill to clean up the tailpipe pollution that causes global warming will hold a "truth" rally today on the East steps of the Capitol. The bill -- AB 1058 -- reaffirms California's leadership in clean car solutions by requiring the Air Resources Board (CARB) to draft reasonable, economically sound standards to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide and other global warming pollutants.

Automakers have launched a state-wide media blitz challenging the bill with an assortment of dire predictions that have no basis in the proposed law. Their advertisements make a long list of claims that are legally and factually untrue. The bill's supporters have responded with their own ads to set the record straight. Speakers at the rally include the bill's author, Assemblymember Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), and co-author Assemblymember S. Joseph Simitian (D-Palo Alto).

"Reducing pollution produced by cars and trucks is the single best way Californians can contribute to efforts to reduce global warming," said Assemblymember Pavley. "AB 1058 continues California's tradition of leading the world using innovative solutions to clean up air pollution from cars without hurting the economy or compromising our freedom to drive."

AB 1058 passed the Assembly on January 30 and the Senate on May 2. It is now before the Assembly for concurrence with amendments added in the Senate which clarify the bill.

The bill's opponents have launched a desperate attempt in an attempt to kill it.

"Out-of-state carmakers are financing a multi-million dollar media campaign that ignores the facts and makes outrageous claims to scare voters and legislators into opposing the bill," said Ann Notthoff, California Advocacy Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, a national environmental group with offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles and a sponsor of the bill.

"These tactics are nothing new. The auto industry has opposed nearly every one of the safety and environmental standards that drivers take for granted today -- from seatbelts and airbags to the most basic pollution controls," said Notthoff.

"The California business community strongly believes that reducing greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles is important for the future of California's economy and that the technology exists to enable future vehicles to be both lower in emissions and cost-effective for the buyer," said Bob Epstein a supporter of the bill and a co-founder of Sybase, Inc. and a founder of Environmental Entrepreneurs. "It is a prudent business measure and one that will benefit all Californians and California businesses."

AB 1058 enjoys wide support from both of California's US senators, the majority of the California House delegation, the city and county of San Francisco, the cities of Los Angeles, San Jose, and Santa Monica, and numerous environmental organizations including the Bluewater Network, the Coalition for Clean Air, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the California League of Conservation Voters, the Planning and Conservation League, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Other supporters include the California Nurses Association, the California Professional Firefighters, the California Ski Industry Association, the California Teachers Association, the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, and the Environmental Entrepreneurs.

To view a current version of the bill, please visit http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/bill/asm/ab_10511100/ab_1058_bill_20020501_amended_sen.pdf.

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, non-profit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has more than 500,000 members nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Related NRDC Pages
Background: California's Clean Car Legislation
California Senate Passes AB 1058, May 2, 2002
NRDC Statement On Passage of AB 1058, Jan. 30, 2002

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