Sunday, July 8, 2007

ex-CARB Chair Sawyer's Open Letter to Schwarzenegger

Robert Sawyer, recently fired as Chair of the California Air Resources Board by Gov. Schwarzenegger, has handed his letter to the Governor to the press. Take a look. Among the accomplishments during his tenure, Sawyer cites "review of the Zero Emissions Vehicle program and instructions to ARB staff for modifications to encourage the production and use of electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.." What will happen to the ZEV mandate review process as the newly appointed Chair Mary Nichols comes up to speed will be watched closely. But it the critical aspects of Sawyer's letter that is drawing attention. Worldwide articles have appeared tarnishing Arnold's green luster, and this letter will not serve to stanch that loss of reputation.

• "My single regret is that is that you and I never once met during the past 18 months to discuss any of the critical air quality or global warming issues facing California."

• "Governor Schwarzenegger, your staff has interjected itself in a manner that has compromised the independence and integrity of the board."

• "Press releases from the Governor’s staff, which are contrary to reality or truth, are a disservice to you and to the people of California."

• "I urge you to hire a personal science advisor who can counsel you on the science and technology of air pollution and global warming and who understands the economics and law of these issues.