But where things got corrupt and ugly was with SB 375. This is where hyper-development lobbyists with such familiar acronyms as BIA and CAR wiggled their fat patronage wallets at our eminently susceptible state legislators and got them to fold an entire building angle into the greenhouse gas thing. And while the notion that coercing low density communities such as Sierra Madre into becoming high density mixed-use condo ghettos will save the world from Global Warming might seem absurd to people living here on the planet floor, within the Sacramento space bubble this apparently made perfect sense. After all, lobbyist largesse speaks far louder than anything mere taxpayers might want, and with enough money to spread around you can create your very own alternative reality up there.
What will be upsetting for many is that the cynicism of Sacramento, fueled by the greed of certain interested lobbyists, could very well result in the green baby being tossed out with the patronage bath water.
So if AB 32 is the foundation, and SB 375 the multi-unit housing built on top of it, wouldn't the whole thing just collapse if you pulled out that base? I'm just not so sure you can have SB 375 without AB 32. And if a California State Assemblyman by the name of Dan Logue gets his way, there could be an opportunity to do just that.
This interesting development is from a newspaper called the Appeal-Democrat, out of beautiful Marysville, California:
Logue wants air rules to face popular vote - Assemblyman Dan Logue is looking to put AB 32, the 2006 state legislation meant to address emissions and global warming on a statewide basis, before voters next year ... Logue, R-Linda, said the economic impacts associated with AB 32 are such he wants voters to decide whether it should be in effect while the economy is in recession ... "This has been the blind leading the blind, political correctness that has collapsed the economy in California," Logue said. "California already has the fifth-cleanest air in the country, so why are we doing this when no one else is?" Logue, who's joined with government reform measure veteran Ted Costa in the effort, said he wants a ballot measure next November that would tie implementation of AB 32 to the state unemployment rate ... The state's unemployment rate is now 12.3 percent, and many economists believe California's unemployment is likely to remain above double digits well into 2010.
Ted Costa, in case you are wondering, is the guy credited with driving the 2003 California recall election that deposed then Governor Gray Davis. Look for petitions to start hitting the streets after the holidays.
Now Dan Logue's idea here is very similar to what candidate Meg Whitman has been pushing since she announced her candidacy for governor here in California. This from the San Francisco Chronicle's SFGate.com site:
Whitman would suspend AB 32 - Meg Whitman, the former CEO of eBay who is running for governor, said today that if she is elected she would immediately suspend implementation of California's landmark greenhouse gas reduction law, Assembly Bill 32 ... In an Op-Ed in the San Jose Mercury News, Whitman argues that the economic hardship facing the state will be compounded by AB 32 and called on Gov. Arnold Schwarzennegger -- who signed the measure into law with much fanfare -- to immediately issue an executive order to put a moratorium on "most AB 32-releated rules." ... "And if he does not, I will issue that order on my first day as governor," Whitman wrote.
Looks like the Republicans have found an issue to run on in 2010. And apparently Arnold, who sees his "green" agenda as both his legacy and enduring gift to the world, is not very happy about it. I would sure love to get a look at the polling that is sending the GOP in this direction.
What would a day be like if we didn't get at least one laugh at the expense of SCAG? This from the San Clemente Times:
San Clemente's Vision & Strategic Plan Moves Ahead - The first major hurdle in working toward the completion of the city's General Plan update was cleared Tuesday when City Council voted 4 - 1 to receive and file the San Clemente Vision and Strategic Plan ... Councilmember Bob Baker voted against accepting the document, arguing that it didn't go into enough detail. "I thought we paid $160,000 for a detailed study on what our direction was going to be, and I don't see it here," said Baker. "I want more specifics." Baker pointed out that elements of the document included reference to statistics that could be misconstrued by the public, such as the inclusion of employment and density expectations from the Southern California Association of Governments. SCAG projections call for 6,000 new jobs to be created in San Clemente by 2030, a number Baker says (and all of council agreed) was absurd.
I'm telling you, SCAG is a joke wherever you go. All we really have to do is get cities to talk to each other about these things, and let the cards fall where they may. But $160,000 for a report that includes some dumbass projections from SCAG? Damn. I don't care how much money they have in San Clemente, that is some crazy stuff.