The Coalition for Clear Air honored two of the most influential men in Hollywood: comedy legend Jay Leno and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. They were among a group of celebrities, government officials and business people honored at the 2012 California Air Quality Awards, held at the Peterson Museum in Los Angeles, for their efforts to keep California’s air clean.
Jay Leno, known for owning hundreds of collectible cars joked at the June 21st event, “I may have over 100 cars, but I never drive more than one at a time.” He continued on, more seriously, “In recent years, I’ve made it my goal to speak out and make people aware of ways that we can best help clean up our air and make it safer for the next generation. It really is about taking personal responsibility and making sure that everyone does their part.”
Guests were treated to Johnny Rockets burgers, fries and milkshakes, plus plenty of beer donated by Eel River Brewery; and a special performance by folk-rock band The Borrowers Debt.
After the honors were bestowed, Bob Lutz—former vice chairman of GM and the father of the Chevy Volt—made a surprise announcement on behalf of VIA Motors, co-presenting sponsor of the evening along with PG&E. VIA Motors pledged to donate the first consumer-built Vtrux—serial number #00001—to CCA, and they asked Jay Leno to sign the hood to commemorate the occasion.
Mr. Lutz christened the truck “The Lenutz.” CCA plans to auction this piece of automotive history—the world’s first extended-range electric pick-up truck—in 2013.
“It’s very important that we start taking the steps today to ensure that tomorrow’s environment is good for our future generations,” stated Mayor Villaraigosa. “By focusing on car and truck emissions as a part of our contributions to the atmosphere, we are moving closer to not only maintaining our current climate, but also continuing to reduce the effects that have already been put into motion.”
“California has long been at the forefront of the fight for clean air,” said Dr. Joseph K. Lyou, CCA’s president and CEO. “Our awardees are visionary champions who have been on the leading edge of California’s air quality efforts; each has a personal passion and professional commitment to making clean air a reality.”
Here are the honors/honorees of 2012 Clean Air Quality Awards:
· Jay Leno received the award for Clean Air Leadership for his longstanding dedication to the promotion of zero-emission vehicles.
· Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa received the Leadership in Government award for his role in the groundbreaking Port of Los Angeles Clean Truck Program.
· Port of Los Angeles’ Clean Truck Program leaders Cindy Miscikowski, David Freeman, and Jerilyn López Mendoza received the Clean Air Stewardship award for their collaborative implementation efforts.
· Martin Daum, President and CEO, Daimler Trucks North America received an award for Corporate Leadership for his company’s work with Freightliner fuel technologies.
This year, CCA was proud to have PG&E and VIA MOTORS as Grand Marshall presenting sponsors of the awards. Champion sponsors include Southern California Edison and Clean Energy.
About the Coalition for Clean Air
The Coalition for Clean Air is the only statewide organization advocating exclusively for clean air in California. Founded in 1971, the organization’s priorities include combating climate change; cleaning up ports and freight transport; advancing clean transportation options; and reducing toxic emissions from everyday products and services. Among its historic victories: helping pass the first law regulating greenhouse gases emitted from cars; winning the nation’s first ban on “perc,” a toxic chemical used in dry cleaning; and spearheading California’s original Smog Check program, which reduces 100 tons of automotive pollution daily. Learn more at www.ccair.org.
Photo credit: Le Studio Photography, Courtesy of CCA
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Written by Lanee Neil