January 12, 2009
Environmentalists were outraged last week when word leaked that California's normally pro-environment governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was seeking waivers on environmental reviews for a dozen major transportation infrastructure projects slated to begin soon around the state. Specifically, Schwarzenegger is hoping that the federal government will "waive or greatly streamline National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) requirements consistent with our statutory proposals to modify the California Environment Quality Act (CEQA) for transportation projects."
Greens worry that granting such a waiver would not only have negative effects on California's air, water and wilderness but would also set a dangerous precedent for future projects in that state as well as in other states around the country. According to the nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council, removing environmental...