Governor Jerry Brown selected County Supervisor John Gioia on Tuesday to represent the San Francisco Bay Area on the California Air Resources Board. The 12-member panel, a division of the California Environmental Protection Agency, provides state leadership and enforcement on air pollution standards and climate change regulations.
“I’m excited to be working at a statewide level on climate change and community health issues,” Gioia said. “The Air Resources Board has been on the cutting edge of developing policies to address climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and pursue clean energy.”
Appointments to the California Air Resources Board are made at the pleasure of the Governor and require confirmation from the State Senate. Since the appointment is part-time, the only duty Gioia will step down from is his role on the Contra Costa Retirement Board. “[Wednesday] was my last meeting at the Retirement Board,” he said. “Otherwise, everything goes on the same.”
Gioia said he believes some of the Board’s early decisions will involve cap-and-trade revenues, improving public health through better air quality, and pursuing and incentivizing clean energy initiatives. The Air Resources Board has been at the forefront of implementing AB 32, or the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which requires the state to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The Board’s current chair, longtime environmentalist Mary Nichols, was recently named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people for her pursuit of legislation to curb acid rain, reduce greenhouse gases, and boost fuel efficiency in American vehicles.
Gioia, 55, is a member of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District Board of Directors, where he served as chair in 2012. He has been deeply involved in the Richmond community since he joined the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors in 1999.
The new role is in “natural alignment with the work I’ve already been doing,” Gioia said, both in Richmond and around the Bay Area, on climate change and air quality issues. “If you look at the challenges we face, they are regional in scope. Air quality issues that are important for Richmond are shared by communities around the state,” he said. “We’re all in the same boat.”