Guest View: State regulatory board should save jobs
March 25, 2009
On April 1, nearly a third of the state’s gas stations could be forced to shut off their pumps. An estimated 3,400 stations cannot afford to comply with a new state mandate that requires them to purchase new equipment.
This means that more people will be out of jobs, and commuters will have to drive farther to fill up.
But this disaster can be prevented.
The 11 members of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), a committee in charge of regulating the state’s air issues, can act within their power to provide flexibility for these gas stations, their employees and their costumers.
CARB is stubbornly sticking to its ruling that gas stations must install new expensive gas-dispensing nozzles to capture 98 percent of the vapor emissions instead of the current 95 percent. Due to our nation’s banking and economic troubles, these gas stations – many are small-business owners ” cannot afford to finance up to $80,000 to install these new nozzles.
Gas stations owned by major oil corporations have complied with CARB’s mandate that gas stations be retrofitted with an Enhanced Vapor Recover Phase II system and they should be applauded for their efforts.
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Independent gas stations, however, have had a very difficult time.
They need some flexibility in the state’s regulation to survive this recession. The goal to achieve cleaner air for California is one that we can all support. But this should not be done at the expense of workers whose families depend on their paychecks. CARB members should show compassion by delaying the regulations until the economy recovers.
” Sen. Dave Cox represents the residents of the 1st Senate District, which includes all or portions of Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Lassen, Placer, Plumas, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Sacramento and Sierra counties. Contact his office at (916) 651-4001, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org