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For Immediate Release, February 24, 2012

Contact: Rose Braz, (510) 435-6809

Minneapolis Becomes Latest U.S. City Urging Action on Clean Air, Climate Crisis

MINNEAPOLIS— Minneapolis is the latest city to urge the Obama administration and the EPA to use the Clean Air Act to reduce carbon and other pollutants and take significant steps to address the global climate crisis. The Minneapolis City Council and Mayor R.T. Rybak just added the issue to the city’s federal legislative agenda. Minneapolis is the 13th city to join the Center for Biological Diversity’s national Clean Air Cities campaign.

“Minneapolis joins a growing number of cities speaking out in favor of the Clean Air Act and taking real and substantive steps to reduce greenhouse pollution and address the climate crisis,” said Ulla Nilsen, one of the Center’s Clean Air Advocates in Minneapolis who spearheaded the resolution’s passage.

“We are calling on lawmakers to reject any attempt to roll back Clean Air Act protections,” said Rybak. “We are fighting to ensure that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority and the funding to continue protecting public health by reducing both greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change and pollutants that harm our air quality in general.”

“In Minneapolis we understand the incredible importance of clean air and the need for federal leadership,” said Council Member Cam Gordon. “For more than 40 years the Clean Air Act has helped us protect our air and improve our health. It has been critical to preventing heart attacks, lost work days and asthma attacks. It is time to strengthen — not weaken — the Clean Air Act, and I am proud that our city is joining the effort.”

“We are defending the Clean Air Act to ensure that all Americans can have air that is safe to breathe,” said Council Member Elizabeth Glidden. “Air quality is also an important local issue; a little more than 11 percent of Minneapolis children under 17 have current asthma symptoms, and an estimated 77,437 people with asthma live in Hennepin County.”

The Center’s Clean Air Cities campaign is working around the country to encourage cities to pass resolutions urging national leaders to use Clean Air Act to reduce atmospheric carbon levels to no more than 350 parts per million, the level scientists say is needed to avoid catastrophic climate change. Albany, N.Y.; Boone, N.C.; Pittsburgh, Penn., Seattle, Wash., Tucson, Ariz., Cambridge, Mass., Milwaukee, Wis., and Arcata, Richmond, Berkeley, Oxnard and Santa Monica, Calif., have also passed resolutions, and several other cities around the country will be considering similar resolutions over the next few months.

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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