Protect CEQA and Environmental Laws in the State Budget Process
** SPECIAL INTERESTS ATTEMPT TO GUT CEQA: CALLS NEEDED NOW! ***
Reports of a secret, back-door attempt to gut California’s landmark Environmental Quality Act surfaced last Thursday in the LA Times. Two Republican state senators, Sam Blakeslee and Anthony Cannella, are making the demands as part of negotiations over a $12.5 bilion / year tax extension, badly needed to fund schools.
The secret bill would bar CEQA lawsuits by environmental and community groups, and exempt oil refineries and other large projects from requirements for mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.
The bill is a special favor to Chevron. Chevron has been planning to expand its Richmond oil refinery to process heavier crude, but lost a CEQA lawsuit in 2009 and an appeal in 2010. The Richmond refinery is the largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in the state.
In last year’s election, Chevron poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into television ads against Blakeslee’s and Cannella’s opponents.
Please call Senator Blakeslee and Cannella and tell them not to hold our schools hostage to demands by special interests.
State Senator Sam Blakeslee
Sacramento: 916 651-4015
San Luis Obispo: 805-549-3784
State Senator Anthony Cannella
Sacramento: (916) 651-4012
Salinas (831) 769-8040
LA Times: A budget, but at what price?
Sierra Club California: Protect CEQA and Environmental Laws in the State Budget Process
Earthjustice: Appeals Court: Chevron Refinery Expansion Plans Illegal
SFGate: Environmental Law Being Tested
CEQA, the California Environmental Quality Act, was passed in 1970. CEQA requires that environmental impacts of proposed development projects be thoroughly evaluated and mitigated where feasible, and that less environmentally damaging alternatives be studied. CEQA has reduced or avoided environmental harm from hundreds of thousands of decisions by state and local agencies, as well as from private development projects.
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