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Berkeley doctor named to state air board

balmes.jpgGov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced today that Dr. John Balmes, 57, of Berkeley, has been appointed to the California Air Resources Board: the panel charged with maintaining the Golden State’s air quality, and now vowing to go to war with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over the latter’s refusal to issue a waiver letting California regulate greenhouse gas emissions from cars.

A hot-seat appointment, it would seem.

Balmes since 1986 he has been a University of California, San Franaicso professor of medicine; he also has been a professor of environmental health sciences at Cal Berkeley’s School of Public Health since 2002. Earlier, he was an assistant professor of medicine for the University of Southern California from 1982 to 1986. This part-time position requires Senate confirmation and pays $39,332 per year; Balmes is a Democrat.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.