Dan Walters writes in the Sacramento Bee:
The messy departure of the chairman and executive director of the Air Resources Board, if nothing else, reflects the extremely intense, largely clandestine struggle in the Capitol over how Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s much-ballyhooed anti-global warming crusade is to be implemented.
Schwarzenegger says he fired ARB Chairman Robert Sawyer last week because the veteran energy researcher was moving too slowly on cleaning up the San Joaquin Valley’s dirty air. But Sawyer and ARB Executive Director Catherine Witherspoon, who resigned Monday, have a far different version, one that rings truer. They contend that Schwarzenegger’s chief of staff, Susan Kennedy, and other aides wanted them to slow down on implementing anti-global warming legislation passed last year.
Just in case you thought Schwarzenegger was an ally in the fight against global warming. Here is something to remember in politics. Not everyone who changes from public opposing you to publicly supporting you has changed their mind. Sometimes they have just changed tactics.
Having concluded that something is going to be done about global warming, the Governator will do everything in his power to make sure that something is as little as possible.
I think a good comparison would be another Republican celebrity candidate–Fred Thompson. Thompson is often portrayed as a hero for his role as minority council on the committee that investigated Nixon. But in reality, “Thompson was a mole for the White House … working hammer and tong to defeat the investigation” by passing along information to Nixon.
Schwarzenegger is going to use California’s greenhouse legislation to polish his image as a convert to environmentalism, while sabotaging implementation in every way possible. Environmentalists who help build this heroic image in hopes they can use him rather than other way around are are bringing a chess board to a gun fight.