Release 92-07

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                              CONTACT:         Jerry Martin
June 24, 1992                                                                                                     (916) 322-2990

Air Resources Board Chairwoman Named to Project California

        SACRAMENTO - Air Resources Board (ARB) Chairwoman Jananne Sharpless is among the government officials named to the Project California, a panel that also includes business, labor and education experts with the goal of making the state more competitive by the year 2000 through development of advanced transportation and communications technology.

        Sharpless is one of only three government officials on the 24 member panel, chaired by Roy Anderson, Chairman Emeritus of the Lockheed Corporation, and which includes many executives of California businesses. The panel held its first meeting today in Sacramento.

        In cooperation with the Governor and members of the Legislature, the panel will work toward developing, manufacturing, marketing and using efficient, flexible and environmentally safe advanced transportation and telecommunications systems.

        Many of the issues that the panel will focus on are an integral part of the Air Resources Board program, including development of cleaner running vehicles powered by electricity and other alternative fuels, and improvements in transportation that both relieve traffic congestion and improve air quality.

        The ARB's unique emission standards already require manufacturers to produce the world's cleanest cars and fuels. Future standards, however, will require cars that will be another 50-75 percent less-polluting, encouraging the use of alternatives to gasoline. In addition, between two and ten percent of future new cars, built between 1998 and 2003, will be non-polluting, electric models, which will require development of charging stations and other support systems to make them practical and attractive to motorists.

        Other Issues that the Project California panel will address include development of "smart highways" and high-speed transportation systems such as inter-city "bullet trains"; design and construction of manufacturing facilities to produce vehicles and transportation systems of the future; and construction of telecommunication systems, such as fiber optics, that will encourage Californians to commute electronically, reducing travel on already congested roadways.

        "Improving our transportation systems is critical to increase the efficient delivery of services and movement of people," said Sharpless. "This panel gives the state the opportunity to merge the entrepreneurial and technical skills of industry with planning and policy making of government to design California's view of the future. "Not a coincidence, many of the solutions we need to develop will improve environmental quality while also making the state a more desirable place to live," she continued. "This panel has the opportunity to deliver the technological changes we need to chart our own course for the future and to retain our international competitive edge in the economy."

        The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.

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