Capitol Alert

Schwarzenegger: ‘So sad’ that Pruitt is leading EPA

While appreciating how California has inspired other states and nations with its efforts to combat climate change, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday said he was “so sad” about the Trump Administration’s policy shift on the environment.

The Republican film star and four others were honored at the state Air Resources Board meeting in the name of Dr. Arie J. Haagen-Smit, the first chair of the board after its creation by then-Gov. Ronald Reagan in 1967.

Schwarzenegger hailed Haagen-Smit as an “immigrant who has given a lot to this country and to the world.”

“Haagen-Smit was the man. Now, 50 years later, you have Trump appointing (Scott) Pruitt to the EPA. What happened?” Schwarzenegger said to the board. “This is so sad.”

Thursday marked 50 years since the board’s first meeting, and the five recipients were honored for their work improving air quality and the environment in California and nationwide. Schwarzenegger, in office 2003-2011, pushed California’s cornerstone global warming law, Assembly Bill 32.

Other recipients of the Haagen-Smit Legacy Award were David Hawkins, a climate expert with the National Resources Defense Council; former Los Angeles congressman Henry Waxman; Nobel Prize winner Dr. Mario Molina and former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy.

Schwarzenegger said the Air Resources Board and California have done “an extraordinary job” over the years reducing air pollution and establishing a cap-and-trade program to battle climate change.

“Now other states are inspired, and the whole world is inspired by the great work that has been done in California,” Schwarzenegger said.

Billy Kobin: (916) 321-1860, @Billy_Kobin