Economy precedes new pollution controls

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Our nation continues to cope with a deep recession. The state’s unemployment rate is at a historic high. The state’s budget crisis is in a freefall as tax receipts have plummeted. Yet, bureaucrats at the California Air Resources Board and local air pollution control districts are not recognizing the economic impact and the financial strain of their decisions to enforce new and expensive regulations. Contrary to public statements, local air districts are shutting down gas stations and putting people out of work. Stations have been fined to the tune of $943,815 statewide for not complying with the Enhanced Vapor Recovery Regulation. Given the toll of these regulations on workers, we support Senate Bill 507, a legislative proposal to extend the effective date of enforcement for a year. This measure was heard on Wednesday, May 20, in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. In light of our economic climate, it is irresponsible for regulators to ignore the financial impacts of their actions on workers and their families. It is time for legislators to right this wrong for 3,200 gas stations and their employees and pass Senate Bill 507. Sens. Dave Cox, R-Fair Oaks; Roderick D. Wright, D-25; and Ron Calderon, D-Montebello