Governor Schwarzenegger Should Ignore Sarah Palin’s Advice on California Port Pollution and Sign SB 974
By Bill Magavern
Sierra Club California
John McCain’s running mate said she doesn’t like Senate Bill 974 (Lowenthal) because she thinks it will have “negative impacts” on the price of Alaskan goods. For her, the estimated few pennies extra that consumers might have to pay for a DVD player or new pair of shoes matter more than the health of Americans who suffer from the damaging effects of air pollution.
SB 974 is designed to address a different kind of negative impact: the negative impact of air pollution at ports. SB 974 imposes a small fee per container in order to fund clean-air technologies and relieve congestion at California’s major ports.
SB 974 would save lives in California. For too long, international trade has been subsidized by the lives and lungs of Californians. Every year 3,700 Californians die prematurely from ports and freight transportation pollution.
California wants cleaner ports and investments that fix traffic clogged intersections. The state legislature has passed SB 974, and polls by the Public Policy Institute of California show that a large majority—68% of Californians--support it.
Investing in California’s port infrastructure could alleviate the increased asthma rates near goods movement corridors, decreasing the number of lost workdays and school days caused by this debilitating illness. It would put our major ports on a greener, cleaner path to growth – instead of a “Bridge To Nowhere.”
Sierra Club California urges Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to consider California’s health ahead of political pressure and sign SB 974.
Another View: Read what the Indiana chapter of the Sierra Club had to say about Governor Palin's disdain for wildlife here.