Sierra Club California’s Bill Magavern speaks at August 8 press conference with Senate leaders on budget impasse and global warming.
Today I induct the new members of the California Hall of Shame. Senators Aanestad, Ackerman, Ashburn, Battin, Cogdill, Cox, Denham, Dutton, Harman, Hollingsworth, Margett, McClintock, Runner, and Wyland are holding hostage the entire budget for the state of California.
This Gang of 14 privileged white men is obstructing the funding of schools, hospitals, parks and other vital services because the oil and developer lobbies that fund their campaigns want to weaken our keystone environmental law, the
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Forget about the fact that this is a policy issue 8 that should be addressed through the normal legislative process -- because of California's bizarre requirement for a 2/3 majority in each house to pass a budget, blocking the budget is just about the only leverage the Republican Caucus has, so the needs of the people who depend on state services will take a backseat to the wishes of polluters.
These 14 Republican senators (their 15th colleague, Sen. Maldonado, broke with the pack and supported the budget passed by Assembly Democrats and Republicans) want to delay for years the Environmental Quality Act's application to global warming pollution. They're clearly not listening to the people of California, who, according to last month's poll by the Public Policy Institue of California, believe in large and growing numbers that it is necessary to take immediate steps to counter the effects of global warming. Eight in 10 Californians believe global warming will be a very (54%) or somewhat serious (28%) threat to California's future economy and quality of life.
Fortunately, Senate President pro tem Don Perata, backed by the entire Senate Democratic caucus, declared today that he will staunchly defend environmental quality and refuse to flinch in the face of the hostage-taking by the Gang of 14.
Sierra Club California