Green Party of California

Schwarzenegger's glitzy eco-conferences, even Obama's video talk may not mean real change; big first step would be to fire ARB chair, suggest Greens


BEVERLY HILLS (November 19, 2008) - Glitzy eco-conferences like the Global Climate Summit hosted by Gov. Schwarzenegger this week here - punctuated by a video talk by President-Elect Obama - are a welcome sign attitudes about climate change are changing, but they often don't translate to real change, said a Green Party environmental expert today.

In fact, Wes Rolley, a California resident and co-chair of the U.S. Green Party EcoAction Committee, charges that one of the best things Schwarzenegger could do to help the environment would be to fire the chair of the Air Resources Board.

"He should fire Mary D. Nichols (ARB chair) and replace her with someone who puts the interests of the citizens of this state first. Schwarzenegger is asking us to trust the same Air Resources Board for climate change solutions that has failed to deliver on any of their other mandates," said Rolley.

"While we support the intent of this conference, we must look carefully at the history of big event publicity followed by non-action that has characterized the Schwarzenegger approach to ecological issues. In too many cases we have seen these big media events followed by failures to follow through. Even his signature achievement, AB32, is not even close to delivering the changes we need. It is still at the stage of trying to get approval of a scoping plan to tell us how bad the problem really is," said Rolley.

The Green Party already knows the extent of the problem, added Rolley, citing study after study confirming not only the effect of atmospheric accumulation of greenhouse gases, but that the same gasses, particularly methane, cost California's economy $28 billion in health care costs, lost work and even premature deaths.

"Gov. Schwarzenegger is once again raising our expectations for a better future, something he is good at selling. We can only hope that this future is not like the past, filled with press conferences followed by little action. One-hundred and thirty California Mayors signed the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. Maybe as California has taken the leadership role away from an inactive Federal Government, local leaders may need to take over the leadership role from an ineffective state government," Rolley noted.


Further Information:
Climate Change Proposed Scoping Plan
The Benefits of Meeting Federal Clean Air Standards

Susan King, Spokesperson, 415.823.5524,
Daniel Brezenoff, Spokesperson, 310.422.2211,
Cres Vellucci, Press Secretary, 916.996.9170,

The Green Party of California
PO Box 2828
Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437