Calif. sees sprawl as warming culprit

18 06 2007

We thought this was some very interesting news which was posted today by usatoday.com

SAN FRANCISCO — California is pioneering what could be the next battleground against global warming: filing suit to hold cities and counties accountable for greenhouse gas emissions caused by poorly planned suburban sprawl.

The unprecedented action is being closely watched by states that have taken aggressive steps to combat climate change — including New York, Massachusetts and Washington.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown has sued San Bernardino County, the USA’s largest in land area and one of the fastest growing, for failing to account for greenhouse gases when updating its 25-year blueprint for growth.

 

IN ‘INLAND’ EMPIRE: 25-year growth plan needs revisions, critics say

“It’s ground-breaking. California is just leading the way for other states and jurisdictions that will ultimately follow,” says Richard Frank of the Center for Environmental Law and Policy at the University of California-Berkeley.

FIND MORE STORIES IN: Massachusetts | Calif | Attorney General | Robert Hanashiro | Fontana | San Bernardino County

In Massachusetts, Gov. Deval Patrick in April ordered regulators to require developers of projects large enough to undergo state environmental review to assess how they contribute to global warming.

In New York, global warming is one of Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s “top priorities,” says spokesman Jeffrey Lerner. “He’s very focused on it. He feels like we need to do everything we can to address that issue right away.”

The California lawsuit, filed in the spring, argues that the 1970 California Environmental Quality Act requires greenhouse gases to be regulated like any other type of pollution. Sixteen states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam have similar laws, but no other state has used these laws to sue over global warming.

If the suit is successful, California cities and counties could be forced to take steps to limit sprawl, promote compact development, require builders to design energy-efficient houses that offer solar power, and encourage less driving, more mass transit and use of alternative fuels.

San Bernardino County officials say they addressed global warming after the attorney general’s office filed criticisms, but no regulations require them to do so in growth planning. “The state’s making an example of us to send a message to everyone else in California,” says spokesman David Wert.

By:John Ritter

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One response

20 06 2007
allen turner

’bout time, if not too late.

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