Southern California environment news and trends

Legal experts disagree on Prop 26's effect on AB 32

Will Prop 26 make it difficult to enforce regulations under AB 32? That’s been the fear of many environmentalists since the initiative passed on Tuesday. After all, AB 32 — California’s landmark global warming law — will require tough new regulations to enforce, while Prop 26 — a successful initiative that will requires a two-thirds majority to impose fees that address “health, environmental, or other societal or economic concerns” — makes passing new regulations tough, to say the least.

But according to environmental nonprofit National Resources Defense Council’s Western Energy and Climate Projects legal director Kristin Eberhard, the answer is no. In a post boldly titled “Proposition 26 will not stop AB 32” on NRDC’s Switchboard blog, Kristin explains why AB 32 will be affected by Prop 26 “not at all”:

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Lies, damned lies, statistics, and the coast [UPDATED]

Over at LA Observed, Kevin Roderick points out that Jerry Brown is governor because he won the coast. (Official state results here, you can mouse over each county to get results.)

 

I looked at this and I was reminded of something we had talked about briefly at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute fellowship I did a few years back. And which we talk about all the time now in the context of the South Coast implementation of the Marine Life Protection Act. California's population is densest at the coast. Here's a map from the US Geological Survey, based on 2000 census numbers:

So, I'm guessing it makes sense that you have to win at the coast because that's where the people are.

It's not just California: according to a NOAA report released 5 years ago, 23 of the 25 most densely populated counties in the country were coastal. 53% of Americans lived (in 2003) at the coast - 153 million people, compared with 120 million Americans living at the coast in 1980. But California is really good at it: southern California counties made up 12 percent of that increase - 3.96 million people more moved to the Southland coast since 1980.

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Morning greens: High-speed rail concerns, bike plan delays, and more post-election news

The Los Angeles Bicycle Plan gets delayed, thanks to cyclists. After bicycle activists rallied against the adoption of what they called a flawed plan, the City Planning Commission voted to “continue (delay) the bike plan decision until their December 16th meeting, directing staff to work with commissioners to continue to improve the plan,” reports LA Streetsblog.

samocommgarden Cafe GratitudeCurbed LA rounds up the 10 best community gardens in Los Angeles County. Is yours one of them?

Metrolink riders: Check your schedules. All but one Metrolink train schedules will be tweaked starting Monday, reports LAist.

California’s first high-speed rail segment may run through Central Valley, reports LA Times. “The federal government indicated Wednesday that it wants all of its initial funding of the project — about $3 billion — directed to a single segment between Fresno and Merced or Fresno and Bakersfield.”

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Elections and the environment: A Green roundup of news and opinions on what's to come

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Environmentalists are celebrating the defeat of Prop 23, which would have suspended California’s landmark global warming law, AB 23. Reports LA Times: “Proposition 23 failed by a stunning 61% to 39%, giving heart to national environmental leaders and signaling the advent of new players in eco-politics: high-tech entrepreneurs, mainly based in Silicon Valley, who see clean energy as an economic investment.”

At Salon’s How the World Works blog, Andrew Leonard opines that the defeat of Prop 23 “affirms the California dream” — with repercussions far beyond the Golden state. “California’s economy is so large that the state can, by itself, make a huge, globally relevant impact on the development of clean and renewable energy technology.” NY Times delves into the fight behind Prop 23, dissecting the strategies that went into defeating the dirty energy proposition.

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Morning greens: Bicycle activists oppose L.A. bike plan

We’ll have more coverage of what Tuesday’s elections meant for the environment later today. For now, the latest in other news:

bike lead L.A.’s cycling community isn’t happy with L.A.’s proposed Bicycle Plan. According to LAist, “Much of the disagreement with the plan comes down to three points: a commitment to bike lanes, defining bicycle friendly streets, and updating the Technical Design Manual.” Upset cyclists are urging the Planning Commission to reject the plan at its meeting today, sending it back for a major redraft.

Why is it so important to get LA Beyond Coal? Find out at a Community Cinema Screening of Deep Down, a documentary that follows Beverly May and Terry Ratliff, who grew up on opposite sides of a mountain ridge in Kentucky, who find themselves on the opposite sides of the debate when a mountaintop removal coal mine affects their community’s economy, environment, and health. The screening happens Nov. 8 at 8 pm at The Actors’ Gang at The Ivy Substation, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City. RSVP on the Axis Mundi website. Cost: Pay what you can at the door.

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