LA Daily News: GOP Candidates Move 'Right' on "Green" Issues

LA Daily News: GOP Candidates Move 'Right' on "Green" Issues

The Los Angeles Daily News‘ Steve Scauzillo has attacked the two GOP gubernatorial candidates, accusing them of taking the GOP to “backward” anti-environmental positions. Scauzillo slams Tim Donnelly for supporting the use of dogs to hunt bears; rips Donnelly and rival Neel Kashkari for their distrust of lower estimates of oil reserves in California, and trashes Kashkari for opposing Gov. Jerry Brown’s high-speed rail project.

Scauzillo writes:

Kill more bears. Produce more oil and greenhouse gases that are causing extreme weather events. Eliminate a major mass transit option for car-dependent California.Yes, Republicans pander to an anti-government segment. I get it. But the Republican Party in California has not been anti-environment in the past. Golden State Republicans have supported environmental policy, even created it. So fellas, why the right-turn on green?

Scauzillo notes the environmentalism of such luminaries as former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who favored reducing greenhouse gases and championed hydrogen fuel cars and their fueling stations as well as electric cars and charging stations; GOP Rep. David Dreier, who wrote the Angeles and San Bernardino National Forest Protection Act in 2011; and former president George H. W. Bush, who “outlined support for environmental improvements along the U.S.-Mexico border.”

So the answer to the question is no. Republican candidates are not knee-jerk anti-environment. I thought we’ve moved beyond the environment as a partisan issue. That’s why these guys’ backward steps are unsettling and need to be called out to the Republican leadership at large.

Scauzillo writes, “More local jobs are created by the solar industry than through oil exploration. Environmental jobs are a growth industry.”

(Tell that to Solyndra.)

Or consider this: in Pennsylvania, where there were 6,500 jobs in the oil and gas industry in 2002, ten years later the number had ballooned to over 30,000, an increase of 360%, while employment in the state in general only rose 1.3%. Not only that, but in Pennsylvania the average salary for fracking jobs is $62,000, roughly $20,000 higher than the state average. One study said full development of the Marcellus Shale play in Pennsylvania could develop 211,000 jobs.

Scauzillo continues, “Well, whatever you may think about the high-speed rail train being built from Los Angeles to San Francisco, remember the voters approved it.”

So Scauzillo is positing that whatever the voters approve should be automatically supported by a candidate running for office, no matter how misguided? Perhaps he should consider this from the end of 2013:

A USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences/Los Angeles Times poll released in late September found that seven out of 10 voters want another chance to decide on the project. More than half, 52 percent, said the plan for high-speed rail should be stopped …