Senate Republicans Out of Step on State Budget, Says NRDC

Lawmakers Demand Loophole for Heat-Trapping Pollution as Condition for Passing State Budget, Ignoring Strong Public Support for Action on Global Warming

Craig Noble at 415/875-6100 (office) or 415/601-8235 (mobile)

RODEO, Calif. (August 9, 2007) – Conservationists joined Senate President pro Tem Don Perata (D-Oakland) at a press conference this morning to discuss stalled budget talks and efforts by Republican lawmakers in Sacramento, the building industry, and oil companies to weaken environmental laws as part of the negotiations.
Following is a statement by Ann Notthoff, NRDC California Advocacy Director:
“The 14 Senate Republicans who won’t vote for the state budget unless it weakens environmental law couldn’t be more out of step with the majority of Californians. This small minority of lawmakers – who comprise just over 10 percent of the entire state Legislature – are demanding unpopular, unnecessary and unfounded changes to California’s landmark environmental laws. Their proposals are dramatically out of touch with popular opinion.
“These lawmakers are parroting the tired refrain of the same old special interests – oil refineries and developers – who tried unsuccessfully to block passage last year of the Global Warming Solutions Act. They are using the budget process to try to slow down this historic effort. We’ve started making real progress in implementing the law, but success depends on reviewing and taking steps to prevent heat-trapping pollution from new projects.
“Just two weeks ago the Public Policy Institute of California released a poll showing that 76 percent of Californians – including 65 percent of Republicans – support the Global Warming Solutions Act, which requires California to reduce its global warming pollution to 1990 levels by 2020. Even stronger majorities support the state’s law to reduce global warming pollution from cars starting in 2009.
“Holding essential state services hostage in unrelated policy debates is a losing strategy every time. Weakening California’s landmark environmental laws runs counter to the will of the vast majority of the people who live in this state. The Senate Republican caucus proposal should be rejected.”

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