The Environment and the California AG Race

My original plan was to do four posts, each covering a major party candidate for Governor or Senator.  But the California Attorney General race is also significant in environmental terms.  Under Jerry Brown and his predecessor Bill Lockyer, the AG has been a major player on environmental issues — in particular, providing national leadership on climate change litigation.  So the California AG race has more importance than it might in a typical state.

The Democratic candidate, Kamala Harris, has made support for AB 32 (California’s key climate law) a keystone of her campaign.  Her website touts her environmental record as San Francisco District Attorney.  She is endorsed by the California League of Conservation Voters.

Her opponent, Steve Cooley, has the only campaign site I’ve seen that does not have an “issues” tab.  I suppose that conveys a message of sorts about his campaign strategy.  It must be frustrating to campaign against someone who has no position on the issues.

In search of enlightenment, I tried Cooley’s wiki profile.  I learned some interesting things about his views of sentencing policy, which (from my perspective) are more enlightened that I would have expected from a prosecutor, particularly a Republican prosecutor. Nothing about the environment, however.  The footnotes did lead me to an LA Times story about Cooley shutting down the environmental crimes unit in L.A. (in contrast to Harris who established one in San Francisco).

Kamala Harris would clearly be an environmental advocate.  Steve Cooley remains something of a cipher.  If any readers have any information about his environmental views, we’d love to hear form you.

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About Dan

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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