Fresno Bee op-ed calls for air cleanup/emissions reduction

On Sept. 21, 2016, The Fresno Bee Editorial Board printed an op-ed, the crux of the editorial having to do with work in California and the San Joaquin Valley centered on helping “economically disadvantaged communities” better deal with the effects of poor area air quality. This was indeed a big part of the story.

Brought out in the opinion piece also was information related to Senate Bill 859 (there was another bill referenced as well – Assembly Bill 1613), legislation that focuses on air quality issues in agriculture and directs monies to farms – dairy or otherwise – in an effort to help in the reduction of on-farm generated greenhouse-gas emissions. Nine-hundred-million dollars in cap-and-trade proceeds has been allocated in all.

The Editorial Board furthermore calls for the Brown administration to do more to advance (and at a more rapid pace) not only air cleanup, but Fresno’s downtown revitalization. There is no mistaking here that urban-core-revitalization and air-quality improvement are must-dos.

Add to these opinion-piece points, the message that high-speed rail in California will be a big benefit for the state as well as the Valley in that it will provide to millions of people a travel option whereby fast-moving trains will carry them throughout much of the state.

Important to note here is that in recent weeks there were other key pieces of legislation to which the Governor gave his blessing also, including Senate Bill (SB) 32 (which extends out to year 2030 the state’s pivotal Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 and calls for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by that 2030 date) in addition to Assembly Bills 1383, 1550 and 2722.

Now hear this: where the Bee Board writes: “Rather than dividing that pot [of money] up many ways and watering down the impacts of those dollars, the governor’s team should invest substantially in a small number of regions and ensure that measurable progress is made,” this obvious opinion is spot on, the Editorial Board further submitting: “We encourage Gov. Brown to make added investments that will support our community’s vision – and his vision – of Fresno as a state and world leader in providing economic opportunity, cleaning dirty air and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

To The Fresno Bee Board (and to other newsprint publisher editorial boards too): By all means do keep the positive press coming!

– Alan Kandel