Measure to Stop Climate Change Lawsuits Waylays CA Budget

By Published On: August 3, 2007

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger chastised senators from his party for hanging up the state budget over non-budgetary issues, specifically their attempt to prohibit the state Attorney General from suing over possible global warming damage. “I don’t support holding a budget for non-budget issues,” a frustrated governor said during an August 2 press conference. “Having policy issues connected to the budget is nothing new,” Senator Dick Ackerman (R-Irvine) told Energy Circuit. After lawmakers got close to an agreement on the upcoming $145 billion spending plan late August 1, Republican senators pulled back, insisting a deal was contingent on legislation prohibiting Attorney General Jerry Brown from using his legal authority to curb greenhouse gases. A main target of Brown has been cities that approve development plans and fail to take into account their carbon impacts. The state’s top cop also is involved in a lawsuit against the automobile industry, inherited from his predecessor, which aims to force carmakers to produce cars with lower carbon emissions. “We are very serious about AB 32, and rolling back our green house gases by 25 percent by 2020,” Schwarzenegger said. “We are going to hit the target. No one is going to mess with that.” The state chief did not dismiss his Republican colleagues for trying to curb possible abuses of the state’s global warming reduction law. However, he pointed out they were using the wrong venue to push their agenda. The minority lawmakers also want curbs on the decades-old California Environmental Quality Act, ostensibly to thwart merit-less lawsuits. Brown sued San Bernardino County over the land use plan it adopted in April. He has threatened to take similar action against cities in the Central Valley and Bay Area. The state spending blueprint for the upcoming fiscal year is more than a month overdue.

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