UPDATE: Yesterday Governor Schwarzenegger held a press conference along a stretch of freeway that he claims is affected by the budget crisis and lack of resolution between the Governor and Legislature. He failed to mention, however, that he just vetoed a package of bills that would have helped get the state back on track financially in part because, according to him, they were too protective of the environment. The Governor continues to draw accolades for his environmental accomplishments and his signature issue: combating global warming. But as I wrote last week, his latest budget antics would undermine his leadership by taking away the state's ability to examine the pollution and health impacts of large transportation projects.
As the California League of Conservation Voters points out, Governor Schwarzenegger has earned a reputation as an environmental champion by arguing that a strong environment and strong economy are compatible. There is no logical reason to back peddle on this fundamental principle. Californians should reject the Governor's calls for environmental rollbacks and demand smart leadership to forge a pathway out of the budget mess.