Dismissal Tarnishes the Green Giant

Published on

The Sacramento Bee is reporting
that Governor Schwarzenegger has fired California Air Resources Board
Chairman Robert Sawyer, the top state official in charge of
implementing the new greenhouse gas law.

Why the about-face on an appointee whose "expertise in tackling tough
pollution control issues will be fundamental to ensuring the legacy of
the Air Resources Board in creating a clean and healthy future for California continues"?

I’m inclined to agree with the suggestion of the SF Chronicle:
the former UC Berkeley professor might have been a little too
interested in actually reducing greenhouse gases under last year’s much
ballyhooed legislation. Sawyer joined two other Arnold appointees last
week in a dissent to weak suggestions by the rest of the board for
beginning enforcement of the greenhouse emissions law.

As the Chronicle reported: "Board chairman Robert Sawyer, and members
Daniel Sperling, a UC Davis professor, and Jerry Hill, a San Mateo
County supervisor, voted against the decision because they thought there should be more regulations."

The polluting industries that have given the gov millions (like the $4
million he’s collected from big oil) must prefer the current
alternative: the bill gild’s Arnold environmental cred while he quietly
undermines its implementation.

Interestingly, the Bee also reports that Arnold met with other members
of the GOP last night to "discus[s] ways to protect, enhance and
restore our environment, but in a fair and balanced manner" when
enacting the sweeping law. Apparently "balance" includes firing anyone
who’ll speak up for strong enforcement.

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