Team player working to clean California air

When queried on environmental matters, many cite polluted air as a problem, responses reflecting that the problem is somewhat serious, serious or very or extremely serious.

Diesel-smoke[1]Now add to this the attention paid the issue at times.

Such was the case with the gathering in the nation’s capital on Feb. 17, 2013 of an estimated 50,000 allied and aligned in protest of climate change, the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, rising levels of global carbon dioxide (CO2), and presumably rising sea levels along with that. Hopefully, air pollution was rallied and railed against as well. Getting input on and drawing attention to matters like these is one thing. Actual work initiated that makes a difference in this area is quite another.

One such in-the-spotlight item that in particular caught my eye was published commentary on the subject in the Feb. 15, 2013 edition of The Fresno Bee. The op-ed in question’s title is: “Cleaning the Valley air requires teamwork” – “teamwork” being the operative word here.

Wrote editorial author Casey Diaz: “This understanding also is reflected in our approach to a key issue in our industry. We believe that as a trucking firm, and as a Central Valley family, we have an important role to fill in helping make our air cleaner. This is why we’ve been active in helping find new ways to do business and in embracing new technology. We are working every year to put cleaner trucks on the road and to test new engines and fuels, like natural gas, for our fleet.”

That’s commendable. In addition, not only did Diaz’s tone seem sincere but he appeared to genuinely care. Not just this but to know there are people taking initiative to make a positive change and that a difference is indeed being made is encouraging. To me, Diaz’s is one of the real success stories.

The author went on to stress that the air-cleanup work in California and in the San Joaquin Valley is in its infancy with much work remaining and it was at this juncture Diaz shined a spotlight on legislation that acknowledges the fact that cleaning up Central Valley and California air is a “long-term task” and that teamwork is key.

Diaz remarked, “These bills, Assembly Bill 8 by Assembly Members Henry Perea, D-Fresno, and a companion measure, Senate Bill 11, would extend incentive and funding programs that help companies like ours help clean the skies above our valley and our state.

“These bills reflect the reality that cleaner air won’t come overnight. They extend the funding programs through 2023, giving all of us a chance to make meaningful progress. And, they reflect the understanding that regulations by themselves won’t clean the skies. If we are to achieve our goals, we have to have businesses that can succeed and shoulder the burden.”

In closing out the piece, the author both was spot on and told it like it is.

“By advancing these bills, our lawmakers can demonstrate they understand what many Valley businesses have known all along: We’re all in this together and helping each other is the path to success,” Diaz opined.

Success indeed!

– Alan Kandel