Balloon Banner Action to Fight Cap & Trade

Busloads of concerned California residents from Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and the Central Valley converged on the CA State Capitol August 24th to protest the Air Resources Board’s hearing about AB32, and to say No to Cap & Trade policies.

Participants testified in the hearings throughout the day, and broke for a mid-day rally and press conference outside the building, at which point Ruckus supported a team of high school youth from LA and San Francisco (from Communities for a Better Environment and PODER) in the deployment of a large banner suspended in the air by 2 giant helium balloons. The banner’s message “Gov. Brown: Protect California – No Carbon Trading” easily took over the entrance to the EPA building, and was seen by all coming and going.

While community members spoke out about the nasty effects that climate criminals such as the Richmond Chevron Oil Refinery have on the health and safety of nearby residents, another team hung a banner off an adjacent parking garage, highlighting communities rising for real solutions to climate change.

Check out more info about why Cap & Trade is a false solution to climate change, and what we can do about it on Communities for a Better Environment’s website here and their press release below.

PRESS RELEASE:

August 25, 2011

Environmental Justice Community Disappointed by Air Resources Board Decision on California Cap and Trade Program; Hundreds Testify, Ask for Climate Change Remedies That Address Local Pollution Sources

Over two hundred people from all over California, many of them residents of our state’s most polluted communities, packed the hearing room of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in Sacramento on Wednesday to testify before CARB as the board considered the state’s direction on curbing greenhouse gas emissions under the 2006 Climate Change Solutions Act (also called AB 32).

They came away disappointed but not discouraged.

The residents had traveled from as far away as Wilmington, near the Port of Los Angeles and Arvin in the Central Valley to press CARB to consider alternative measures to cap and trade that would address local sources of pollution, improve public health, create and keep jobs in California, and reinvigorate local green economies.   Communities Rising for Real Solutions (also known by its Spanish acronym CoRReSol), a campaign launched by veteran environmental justice organizations Communities for a Better Environment and the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, organized the mobilization. The campaign argues that cap and trade does not reduce greenhouse gases, leads to the export of much needed jobs out of California and could increase emissions of toxic air and water in California’s most polluted communities.

California’s poor communities are disproportionately located near facilities that emit toxic and greenhouse gases; people of color experience over seventy percent more of the pollution emitted by greenhouse gas polluters as Caucasians.

Despite the sometimes heart-wrenching testimony of residents living with the health effects of heavy local pollution–children disabled by asthma, parents lost to cancer–CARB made a decision in favor of cap and trade, adopting the new environmental review document for the AB 32 Scoping Plan (an outline of actions to curb greenhouse gas emission), including a new analysis of alternatives that concludes cap and trade is the best approach for reducing California’s greenhouse gases.

“We’re of course disappointed but not surprised,” said Bill Gallegos, executive director of Communities for a Better Environment (CBE).  This board continues to be insensitive to California communities choked by pollution and who come to them for relief.  Our goal has always been to strengthen AB 32 and make it a model for our nation and the world. We will continue to ask Governor Brown and legislators to intervene and we will continue to pursue court remedies.”

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