Tuesday, June 03, 2008

can we all just agree that prop 98 is a terrible idea?

much like prop 90 before it. prop 98, in addition to eliminating rent control (sidenote: wtf?), guts many of california's environmental regulations. forgive the megapaste, but susan smartt, the california league of conservation voters' executive director breaks it down pretty darn well:

Here's How California's Environment is at Risk

Prop 98's language would prohibit laws and regulations that "transfer an economic benefit to one or more private persons at the expense of the private owner." The problem with that language is that courts have ruled that virtually all environmental protections technically impose costs on the affected party and transfer economic benefits to other private parties.

Therefore, Prop 98 would instantly gut a wide range of laws and regulations that protect our environment and regulate growth and development, such as:

• AB 32 Regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other laws to limit climate change;
• Water supply and water quality protections that ensure adequate supply and quality for species protection, such as waterfowl, salmon, and delta fish; or for maintaining the beauty of natural treasures like Lake Tahoe;
• Regulations to protect sensitive wetland areas, including limiting development on or near wetlands;
• Urban limit lines and other growth control measures intended to stop sprawl and uncontrolled development, and to protect open space;
• California Environmental Quality Act mitigations that cities, counties and public agencies require of developers to mitigate environmental impacts of developments;
• Protections of endangered species and their habitats;
• Protection of coastal areas, farmland, and ranchland, as well as cultural and historic sites;
• "Smart growth" regulations designed to promote compact, walkable, and transit-oriented communities that combine residential and commercial land uses;
• Ordinary zoning regulations, such as restrictions on the development of polluting industries, adult businesses, and "big box" megastores; and
• Regulations intended to protect old growth forests by limiting timber harvests.

there's a pdf link in that article to a 40 page legal analysis. it's worth your time. please vote no on 98.

update: sweet! it's always nice when my obsessive, every-four-minutes refresh of the california secretary of state's elections results page doesn't result in tears!

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