California has long set the trend for groundbreaking environmental regulations designed to protect consumers from hazardous chemicals and emissions.  Because of this, California has seen its pollution levels drop over the last few decades.  While we still have a ways to go, our progress is encouraging.

Occasionally, however, a well-intended policy creates a host of unintended consequences.  Our state’s 2008 green chemistry law designed to protect consumers from harmful chemicals is a prime example.  Under green chemistry, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is charged with developing a list of chemicals of concern and – if deemed toxic – requiring industries to develop alternatives.

But if applied to automobiles, green chemistry would have a negative effect.  It could:

There is an obvious solution: exempt automobiles.  And there is precedent to do so.  While California’s law essentially applies to all consumer products in the state, exceptions have already been granted to products like food, medical devices and drugs that are heavily regulated by the federal and state governments.  Autos should be added to that list.

Automakers applaud Senator Ricardo Lara for standing with the United Autoworkers and thousands of working Californians to address these concerns by introducing SB 498, a measure that will take the auto industry out of California’s green chemistry process.  It’s a common sense measure that will ensure our autos are safe, clean and reliable well in to the future while protecting California jobs and consumers’ wallets.

We need your help to make Senator Lara’s fix a reality.  A critical vote on this bill looms.  Your action is needed to ensure that it passes.  Visit to tell your state legislator to support clean air, California jobs and safe autos.