The San Francisco Chronicle, Bakersfield Californian and seven newspapers from the Los Angeles Newspaper Group including the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Pasadena Star-News, Whittier Daily News, Torrance Daily Breeze all editorialized this weekend advocating for reforms to the California Environmental Quality Act. These newspapers join the growing chorus of editorials throughout California calling on reforms of CEQA.
Below are excerpts from the editorials. Full editorials can be read here.
San Francisco Chronicle, Editorial, April 7, 2013, “An Environmental Law that Needs an Overhaul”
- “There is something seriously wrong with an environmental law that is being used to undermine efforts to promote urban infill development, renewable energy, bike paths and other measures to address the great climate-change challenge of the 21st century.”
- “It’s time to refocus the California Environmental Quality Act on protecting the environment.”
- “It must no longer be allowed to become a free pass into court for those whose real agendas involve the ecosystems of their pocketbooks or property values.”
Los Angeles Newspaper Group, Editorial, April 7, 2013, “Unions pose key obstacle to CEQA reform” *Ran in Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Pasadena Star-News, Whittier Daily News and Torrance Daily Breeze
- “The goal should be to prevent CEQA from being abused by local governments, agricultural land owners, business rivals and labor unions to block or delay projects they don’t like for reasons that may have nothing to do with concerns about the effects on air, water, wildlife and residents’ quality of life.”
- “More specifically, this means simplifying CEQA’s provisions and removing duplications of the more than 100 other environmental laws that have been added to the state’s books in the past 42 years. This means creating more certainty about standards and procedures and reducing chances to raise last-minute challenges to bog down projects.”
Bakersfield Californian, Editorial, April 6, 2013, “CEQA revisions must stay on the table”
- “The concern is the political use of CEQA by groups that use the act as a hammer, stalling and eventually killing projects they oppose with litigation. The ripple effect can be extensive — a chief casualty, of course, being job creation.”
- “Here in Kern County, where the jobless rate is 13.6 percent, it shouldn’t matter whether CEQA revisions are pushed by a Democrat or a Republican, or whether reform is championed by a homegrown politician or one who represents Californians 200 miles to the north. What matters most is that CEQA be used as it was intended — as a tool to preserve environmental quality, not a legal stall tactic. Parsing one from the other in the language of a new bill might be difficult — one man’s legitimate opposition is another man’s sabotage — but the Legislature owes us its best effort to sort it out.”