Seems that the first big controversy has already erupted over Governor Schwarzenegger’s new Global Warming Solutions Act.
Republicans in the State of California are holding the State’s budget hostage after slipping in a line item that would limit enforcement of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) over the next five years.
The detainee in this case is a clause in the California Environmental Quality Act, that allows the State to sue cities and counties for failing to adequately take into account greenhouse gas emissions when planning for new development. Such action was not possible under CEQA in the past, however Gov. Schwarzenegger’s AB 32, Global Warming Solutions Act has cleared the way for regulating greenhouse gases through CEQA when it was passed into law late last year.
There’s no doubt that the State’s industry associations are behind the Republican push. Using the tired old “sky is falling” rhetoric, groups such as the Western States Petroleum Association, the California Independent Oil Marketers Association and the Industrial Environmental Association wrote a letter claiming that “the consequences to California’s economy, consumers and workers will be severe,” and “these challenges have the potential to stop or significantly delay thousands of new homes from being built.”
The Planning and Conservation League has responded to the industry coalition’s letter.
Ironically, one of the leaders behind the industry push is the California Manufacturers and Technology Association, who will be shortly holding annual energy conference. This year’s theme is California Manufacturers Leading the Way on Climate Change: Innovation, Markets & Prosperity.