Jerry Brown and the Environment
Unlike Meg Whitman’s website, Brown’s website features the environment front and center, with long lists of his environmental accomplishments as California Attorney General and in his time as Governor. I was particularly interested in what he said about his accomplishments as mayor of Oakland, which (according to the website) included:
• Reducing Greenhouse Gases: Under Brown’s leadership Oakland became the second city in the nation to accept mandatory Green House Gas reductions through a program at the Chicago Climate Exchange. The City of Oakland set a goal to reduce green house gases by 15% before 2010, which exceeds Kyoto green house gas reduction targets.
• Oakland’s Ballpark Uses Renewables: Under Brown’s leadership Oakland Coliseum became the first ballpark in the United States to use bioplastic cups. Constructed entirely from cornstarch, these items biodegrade within 40 days and eliminate Oakland Coliseum’s need for Styrofoam and plastic. The Coliseum has become a model for the nation, prompting other parks such as SBC Park in San Francisco adopt Oakland’s bold new waste diversion program.
• Award-Winning Reputation: In 2005 Oakland was named one of America’s “Top Ten Green Cities” in two prominent national guides: greenguide.com and sustainlane.com
Being the major of a medium-sized city obvious provides a smaller canvas than being a governor or state attorney general, but Brown’s actions as mayor are significant because they were more recent than his service as governor and probably reflect more of his personal imprint than his work as A.G., where many actions may have been initiated by his predecessor or lower-ranking members of the staff.