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For Immediate Release, September 20, 2011

Contact: Rose Braz, (510) 435-6809

New Campaign Urges Cities Across Country to Support EPA
Use of Clean Air Act to Reduce Carbon Pollution

SAN FRANCISCO— The Center for Biological Diversity today launched a national campaign calling on cities across the United States to pass resolutions in support of using the Clean Air Act to reduce carbon and other pollutants in the name of clean air, public health and averting the worst effects of climate change.

“Dirty air is bad for people, wildlife and the future of our climate,” said Rose Braz, the Center’s climate campaign director. “Cities can play a crucial role in ensuring that we quickly, ambitiously use the best tool we have for curbing pollution and limiting global warming: the Clean Air Act. The Clean Air Act saves lives and money, but it only works if it’s used.”

The Center’s new Clean Air Cities campaign will work with volunteers around the country to get cities to voice their support for the Clean Air Act and reducing carbon in our atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million, the level scientists say is needed to avoid catastrophic climate change. The Act has been under attack recently by polluters and their allies in Congress; earlier this month, President Barack Obama abandoned plans to reduce smog when he ordered the EPA to withdraw its draft ozone Clean Air Act rule. The updated ozone standards had been in the works for years and were badly needed to address 2008 Bush-era limits that ignored the advice of the EPA's own scientists and threatened public health. 

“Americans want clean air and a livable climate. Through a powerful grass-roots effort, our cities and people can make sure national leaders hear that call,” Braz said.

The Center will call on its volunteer “clean-air advocates” across the country to push their city governments to take action by passing these resolutions.

“Evidence continues to mount about the perils of climate change — hurricanes, droughts, wildfires, flooding, disappearing sea ice. Our city leaders can tell President Obama and the EPA that it’s time to act, it’s time to harness the Clean Air Act,” said Ulla Nilsen, one of the Center’s volunteer clean-air advocates in Minneapolis.

“Here in Tennessee, record-breaking downpours led to massive flooding in Nashville last year. This year, we witnessed the Mississippi River dramatically overflow its banks,” said Alex Durand, a Center clean-air advocate in Tennessee. “That’s why we will be working with youth here in Tennessee to urge our city governments to pass a Clean Air Act resolution.”

“It’s time to stand up to polluters and those who do their bidding in Washington, D.C.,” said Lupe Anguiano, a volunteer from Oxnard, Calif. “We can have clean air, a vibrant economy and a healthy climate, but only if we get past the political rhetoric and follow the clear path that science has laid out for us.”

Learn more about the Clean Air Cities campaign and get the facts about the Clean Air Act.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 320,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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