Budget Extortion: Environmental Rollbacks Required

Republicans are using the budgetary process to roll-back environmental protections, claim environmentalists in California. The state is due to run out of funds in Feb and issue I.O.U.s unless the $18 billion gap is filled for the current fiscal year

"Republicans are trying to use their budget leverage to achieve weakenings of environmental laws they could never achieve through the normal budget process," said Sierra Club California Director Bill Magavern. "We urge the legislative leaders and the governor not to acquiesce to this fiscal blackmail."

"GOP leaders have asked for changes in environmental laws before, but they have significant leverage this year because leaders are desperate to reach a budget deal soon, which requires Republican votes.

One proposal would allow farmers in the Central Valley and in certain coastal areas to use more pesticides than allowed under a court-authorized agreement the state made last year."

From Sierra Club California blog

Minority Republicans are trying to erode "regulations that protect Californians from diesel pollution caused by dirty engines; allow affected residents to sue to stop global warming pollution; require environmental review of the sale of state lands; and prevent the use of smog-forming pesticides.

From SF Gate-Thin Green Line: Capitol Alert
Republicans are demanding five environmental-weakening measures, including "delaying and weakening implementation of a measure to reduce toxic diesel emissions from off-road construction equipment, just adopted in July 2007 by the California Air Resources Board".

Meanwhile, voters indicate in a recent
poll that they want the state to maintain its environmental protections, even in the face of serious budgetary and economic woes."

Thanks to Colleen Flannery

Full Story: Environmentalists sound alarms over budget deal

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