Like any Hollywood actor, and like any politician, Arnold Schwarzenegger likes to talk a good game. And on climate, he talks a lot. He loves to promote inconsequential gab-fests like the Governors Global Summit on Climate Change. But when the rubber hits the road, will he actually, you know, do anything about it?
Whether a bill on his desk gets a signature will tell us whether he is real or all puffery.
That bill is SB 406, by state Senator Mark Desaulnier. SB 406 would allow regional planning organizations to impose a $1-2 extra vehicle license fee in order to assist in regional planning under California’s smart growth law, SB 375.
This is critical, because California cannot meet its emissions-reduction goals unless it reduces emissions from the transportation sector; it cannot reduce emissions from the transportation sector unless it gives transportation dollars to those cities and counties whose land use plans reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT); and those cities and counties cannot change their land use plans unless they have the personnel to do so, which requires cash. Most cities have substantially slashed their planning staffs because of budget cuts: Los Angeles’ visionary planning director, Gail Goldberg, has had to lay off dozens of people and put on hold her agenda for redoing community plans throughout the city.
Predictably, the right-wing crazies are screaming that a one-dollar-per-year fee increase will mean the end of the Republic.
So what’s it going to be, Governator? Whose side are you on? The Tea Partiers’ or the planet’s? Photo-ops like the Climate Summit don’t mean a damn thing in comparison.