Bill Seeks Fast-Track Approval For Emissions-Reducing Projects

A bill being pushed in the California State Senate looks to ease the approval of developments that reduce greenhouse gas emissions -- part of an effort to help the state reach its goal of 25% in reductions by 2020.

Steinberg started out earlier this year hand in hand with the Sacramento Area Council of Governments. The organization -- made up of elected leaders from around the region -- had asked him to introduce a bill that would modify the California Environmental Quality Act, making it easier to approve development projects that would tame traffic and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

When the resulting bill, SB 375, came out, members of SACOG were alarmed over language they saw as going too far -- and eroding local government control over growth. The League of California Cities came out against the bill. On Aug. 16, the SACOG board voted to oppose it unless it was amended.

Despite the difficulty of changing development laws in California, Steinberg said it's imperative that land-use patterns be addressed if the state is going to meet the goals of AB 32, the new state law that calls for a 25 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

Full Story: Growth battle rejoined

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