CA Governator Signs Smart Growth Bill
California recently enacted a noteworthy piece of legislation to promote smart growth and reduce carbon emissions. The Governator gets some pretty good press related to his environmental record. A profile in the most recent issue of Time magazine portrays his relationship with so-called “traditional environmentalists” as the awkward product of political necessity.
On one hand…
“[The Governator is] spreading the message that you don’t have to be a girly-man to help save the planet. He ridicules traditional environmentalists as prohibitionist scolds who want us to drive wimpy cars and live like monks…He’s had one Hummer tricked out to run on biofuels, and another on hydrogen. He won’t apologize for living large.”
On the other…
“This you-can-have-it-all message has not always endeared him to greens of longer standing. They believe Americans must adjust their lifestyles to reduce emissions, not only by installing solar panels in their mansions and driving electric cars but by living in smaller houses and — California blasphemy! — driving less. They grouse that Schwarzenegger acquired his green tint through political necessity in a green state with a Democratic-controlled legislature.”
BUT LET’S IGNORE THIS DISPUTE AND FOCUS ON THE RESULT OF THIS ODD/POLITICALLY NECESSARY UNION…GOOD LEGISLATION:
The Governator recently signed a new law, CA SB 375, that will require land use planning to meet greenhouse-gas reduction goals. Transportation and other public investments will be tied to the plans.
This is a good idea. Appropriate design and zoning policies can facillitate compact, mixed-use development that produces much less emission than the standard, sprawl alternative. More on that topic at a later date. If you’re curious about design/zoning and the reduction of emissions, do some Googling of “Atlantic Station” and “emissions.”
Kaid Benfield’s posting at NRDC’s Switchboard once again proved a great resource.