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Study Points to High Cost of Polluted Air

Foul, filthy air is wafting over California and making people sick to the tune of almost $200 million a year in hospital expenses, according to a Rand Corp. study released today....Mary Nichols, the chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, said the study illustrates how controlling particulates and ozone levels is necessary for both economic and health reasons. "The people who espouse the idea that we should stop working on anything involving regulations of fuel because doing so would cost money should think about the cost of not doing anything," said Nichols, whose attempts to establish a low-carbon fuel standard for California are being opposed by oil and trucking industry officials. "The fact that we're paying for all these hospital and emergency room visits is sobering."

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SF Chronicle