Clean cars campaign launched in California

Diverse group calls for tighter pollution controls on passenger vehicles

Contact: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), 415-777-9648 | Christina Haro, 415-453-0430 | Roxanna Smith, 323-466-2491

SACRAMENTO – Today, Consumer Action joins top consumer, health, business, government, faith and environmental leaders in the launch of The California Clean Cars Campaign to tackle dangerous pollution from passenger vehicles in California. Pollution from cars is hazardous to public health, according to recent studies by Harvard and the American Lung Association.

The campaign is pressing for adoption of the strongest possible emissions standards to clean up California’s passenger cars and light-trucks.

“Dirty vehicles harm consumers twofold by hitting their pocketbooks and damaging their health,” says Ken McEldowney, co-chair of the campaign Advisory Committee and executive director of Consumer Action. “Low income families are disproportionately affected by pollution because they often live in close proximity to roadways in urban areas. California has a chance to help low income residents by reducing the pollution spewed from vehicle tailpipes.”

“More than 90 percent of Californians live in areas with unhealthy air according to the American Lung Association State of The Air Report,” said Jane Warner, co-chair of the Clean Cars Campaign Advisory Committee and CEO of the American Lung Association in California. “Our research demonstrates that stronger state standards that cut vehicle emissions and promote zero emission vehicles could prevent more than $7 billion annually in healthcare and societal costs as well as hundreds of hospital visits, heart attacks, early deaths and thousands of asthma attacks every year in California.”

Strong standards for new cars sold in California will not only reduce air pollution, they will also lower consumer costs, bring jobs and investment to California’s clean tech economy and encourage automakers to build the advanced clean cars Californians want to drive, according to a recent UC Berkeley study.

“Local governments all across the state are struggling to maintain basic services and restore their financial health,” said Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel, co-chair of the campaign Advisory Committee. “Cleaner cars help in two ways. They deliver direct jobs to California’s growing clean transportation sector and help people spend less on fuel, pumping money into the local economy.”

The California Clean Cars Campaign is revving up to push for tighter standards for 2017-2025 model-year cars in California as the California Air Resources Board and federal Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration work together to develop new car and light truck standards that will be announced this fall.

As carmakers try to out-innovate each other, using the latest clean technology to lure customers into showrooms, California policies can help ensure cleaner air and greater consumer savings while creating jobs in budding cleantech economies here and across the country. Since California’s groundbreaking actions to adopt the nation’s first Clean Car Standards, 13 other jurisdictions have adopted California’s standards including Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, DC.

“China is spending around $12 million an hour on clean technology investments,” said Bruce Klafter, co-chair of the campaign’s Advisory Committee and Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at Applied Materials. “We want the world market importing clean car technologies from California, not China. Without strong policies and enforceable benchmarks that drive innovation, new technologies will take longer to develop and bring to market.”

About the California Clean Cars Campaign

The California Clean Cars Campaign is comprised of public health leaders, consumer groups, businesses, local governments, elected officials, organized labor, faith groups, environmental organizations, and other diverse constituencies that support the strongest possible standards for California’s groundbreaking Clean Cars Program. Bringing the next generation of advanced, clean cars into the driveways of California families will help to reduce our dependence on oil, save consumers money, reduce air pollution, and support new jobs and investment in the state’s clean energy economy.

About Consumer Action

Consumer Action has been a champion of underrepresented consumers nationwide since 1971. A nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, Consumer Action focuses on financial education that empowers low to moderate income and limited-English-speaking consumers to financially prosper. It also advocates for consumers in the media and before lawmakers to advance consumer rights and promote industry-wide change.

By providing financial education materials in multiple languages, a free national hotline, and an Annual Credit Card Survey, Consumer Action helps consumers assert their rights in the marketplace and make financially savvy choices. More than 8,000 community and grassroots organizations benefit annually from its extensive outreach programs, training materials, and support.




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