Arnold Schwarzenegger, Climate Hypocrite

Schwarzenegger loves to talk about how concerned he is about climate change.  And talk he does — mostly at meaningless press events like the Governors Climate Summit.  But when it comes to, you know, actually doing his job, he’s decided that he’d rather side with the wingnuts in his party.

A couple of hours ago, he vetoed SB 406 (DeSaulnier), which would have provided funding for the smart growth bill that the Legislature passed last year by allowing regional planning agencies to raise the vehicle license fee by a confiscatory $1.  You can read his veto message here: he claims disingenuously that the voters need to do this, which lacks any legal basis.

Earlier in the day, he vetoed Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg’s bill to mandate 33% renewable portfolio standards, arguing that he had already mandated this standard via executive order.  Once again, he’s getting some lousy legal advice: an executive order is not law and can be unilaterally repealed by any future governor (say, Meg Whitman, who thinks that mitigating climate change is just too expensive).

A couple of weeks ago, I asked Schwarzenegger whether he is on the planet’s side, or the Tea Partiers.  We now know the answer.

Reader Comments

2 Replies to “Arnold Schwarzenegger, Climate Hypocrite”

  1. Along these same lines, Schwarzenegger signed two industry-backed bills that are designed to give special priority for (non-existent) air pollution credits to certain fossil-fueled powerplant projects in Southern California. Not only will this lead to more toxic pollution and more greenhouse gas emissions, but it gives industry a valuable lesson that, when free-market trading systems start to get expensive, you can whine your way out of compliance by running to the legislature.

  2. David,

    Which bills are you refering to? And didn’t the Democratic legislature move them? If you have a link to some good background, that would be appreciated.

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About Jonathan

Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic – Land Use, the Environment and Loc…

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