RELEASE: Pro Tem Denounces South Coast Air Board for Dismissal of Executive Officer Barry Wallerstein

Friday, March 04, 2016

LOS ANGELES – Senate Pro Tem Kevin de León issued the following statement regarding today’s vote by the South Coast Air Quality Management Board Members to dismiss Chief Officer Barry Wallerstein:

“Today's shameful action by SCAQMD is only the latest in a disturbing trend of dirty energy interests dismantling clean air rules that the public overwhelmingly supports. Californians recognize the importance of transitioning away from fossil fuels and building a clean energy future, both to prevent climate change and improve local air quality. We need strong leadership to address some of the worst air quality in the nation, not a rubber stamp committee for the oil industry agenda.

I'm extremely disappointed in the direction this board has taken under its new Republican majority. This hostile takeover, led by Supervisor Michael Antonovich, has subverted the will of the people and undone decades of hard work that has unquestionably benefited all of the region's residents.

I want to commend Mr. Wallerstein for his outstanding leadership and commitment to protecting public health. We are all better off for his service. I will work to ensure the board returns to its core mission of improving and protecting air quality, rather than catering to oil industry needs.”