Schwarzenegger Puts a Hold on Pending Environmental Regulations

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) was in office only a few hours before throwing a wrench into a number of environmental-protection efforts by placing a hold on all pending state regulations in order to review their potential impact on the state’s business climate. Affected rules include building standards aimed at increasing the energy-efficiency of air conditioners; water-use and efficiency standards for washing machines; and restrictions on carcinogenic industrial chemicals. Schwarzenegger’s move could also stymie rules related to disposal of old computers, pollutant levels in drinking water, the use of diesel engines, and more. “The effect of this is to basically undo legislation from the last two years that protects the environment, consumers, and public safety,” said Jamie Court, executive director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.