Plan to Reorg California Government Has Greens Up in Arms

Even prior to its official release tomorrow, California enviros are protesting the 2,500-page report from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s (R) California Performance Review Board, which will contain more than 1,000 recommendations on changing the way the state government is structured and how it works. Among them is a plan to consolidate the various boards and commissions that currently oversee environmental policy into a central Department of Environmental Protection that would be more closely accountable to the governor. Officials claim this would rationalize the process, but enviros counter that it would take ecological decision making farther from the public and centralize control in the hands of the executive. Among the boards slated for bureaucratic demolition are the Air Resources Board and Water Resources Control Board, both of which have played central roles in giving California its reputation as a green trendsetter.