Enviros pan governor’s veto record

The California League of Conservation Voters is not very happy with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It just sent out a critical statement of the governor, saying he has vetoed the vast majority of the important environmental bills that came across his desk this weekend.

Read on for its full press release:

Governor Schwarzenegger Retreats From Environmental Promises

Governor Rejects Opportunities to Protect Natural Resources and Create Green Jobs by Vetoing Majority of Environmental Community’s Priorities

OAKLAND, Calif. (Oct. 12, 2009) – The California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) – the non-partisan political arm of the environmental movement in California – today decried this year’s dismal performance of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on environmental legislation this year. Schwarzenegger vetoed the vast majority of the important environmental bills that reached his desk.

“Rather than seize the opportunity to lead by protecting our natural resources and creating clean energy jobs, Governor Schwarzenegger rejected the vast majority of the bold and rational environmental legislation that arrived on his desk.  This is an unfortunate retreat from the leadership that the Governor once provided,” said Warner Chabot, CLCV’s Chief Executive Officer.

California is in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  Yet the legislature, supported by the environmental community, provided the governor many opportunities to provide environmental leadership while strengthening our state’s economy. Instead, Governor Schwarzenegger’s performance on the environment in this legislative session will likely be his worst ever.

“Governor Schwarzenegger’s record this year demonstrates that environmental voters must work together to build a ‘greener’ governor in 2010 – a governor who will establish California’s position as an environmental leader in the nation and the world,” said Chabot.

“CLCV and the entire environmental community worked together all year to pass through the legislature bold yet responsible legislation to help create clean energy and green job opportunities, protect our state’s natural resources and the public’s health, and help solve the global warming crisis,” continued Chabot. “But with the irresponsible use of his veto pen, the governor failed to lead California toward a strong sustainable economic future built on California’s technological and environmental leadership.”

Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed thoughtful, broadly-supported bills that would have protected state parks from overdevelopment by corporate interests; bills that would have expanded our state’s creation and use of renewable and clean energy; bills that would have improved local land use planning and greenhouse gas emissions reduction; and bills that would have protected communities from pesticides and our natural resources from fire danger. He even vetoed a bill that would have made clean, affordable water a human right in California.

Specific Outcomes of Legislative Session:

  • The governor vetoed priority legislation to protect state parks (SB 372, SB 679); to speed up our commitment to renewable energy (AB 14, SB 64); to improve access to clean water (AB 1242); and to limit out-of-state exemptions to global warming emissions reductions (AB 1404).  And he signed legislation (SB 827)-opposed by CLCV- that allows new power plants to be built in southern California without offsetting their additional air pollution, in violation of an existing court order.
  • On the positive side, the governor signed legislation to improve energy efficiency in existing buildings (AB 758); to ban lead wheel weights in cars (SB 757); to allow payments to users of renewable energy who put power back into the grid (AB 920); and to clean up the water in the Southern California city of Maywood (AB 890).
  • But the governor rejected approximately two important environmental bills for every one that he signed.

In the next few weeks, CLCV will examine all of the votes and results and report back with the official scores how the legislature and the governor performed on the environment in the 2009 edition of the California Environmental Scorecard. CLCV will also launch GreenGov2010.org – a campaign Web site where participants will contribute content, find critical information about the candidates and their positions and participate in building a greener governor for California.

“California must lead the nation and the world in solving both the economic and environmental challenges of our generation,” said Chabot.  “I am confident that California will elect a greener governor in 2010-a governor who will work on behalf of every Californian to create a healthy environment and a thriving clean energy economy.”

Lisa Vorderbrueggen