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Jun 28, 2007 - 06:10 PM

Dismissal Tarnishes the Green Giant

by Carmen Balber
The Sacramento Bee is reporting that Governor Schwarzenegger has fired California Air Resources Board Chairman Robert Sawyer, the top state official in charge of implementing the new greenhouse gas law.

Why the about-face on an appointee whose "expertise in tackling tough pollution control issues will be fundamental to ensuring the legacy of the Air Resources Board in creating a clean and healthy future for California continues"?

I'm inclined to agree with the suggestion of the SF Chronicle: the former UC Berkeley professor might have been a little too interested in actually reducing greenhouse gases under last year's much ballyhooed legislation. Sawyer joined two other Arnold appointees last week in a dissent to weak suggestions by the rest of the board for beginning enforcement of the greenhouse emissions law.

As the Chronicle reported: "Board chairman Robert Sawyer, and members Daniel Sperling, a UC Davis professor, and Jerry Hill, a San Mateo County supervisor, voted against the decision because they thought there should be more regulations."

The polluting industries that have given the gov millions (like the $4 million he's collected from big oil) must prefer the current alternative: the bill gild's Arnold environmental cred while he quietly undermines its implementation.

Interestingly, the Bee also reports that Arnold met with other members of the GOP last night to "discus[s] ways to protect, enhance and restore our environment, but in a fair and balanced manner" when enacting the sweeping law. Apparently "balance" includes firing anyone who'll speak up for strong enforcement.

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