California, Greenhouse Gas Regulation, and Climate Change
Holland & Knight environmental and land use attorneys Jennifer Hernandez and David Friedman continue their analysis of the use, and abuse, of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which allows anyone – even anonymous entities, and entities such as business competitors and labor unions seeking to advance non-environmental objectives – to file a lawsuit alleging inadequate environmental evaluation of any type of project requiring any discretionary approval from any state, regional or local agency.
In their latest in-depth exploration of this issue, "California, Greenhouse Gas Regulation, and Climate Change," the authors found that the imposition by the state's Democratic Party leaders of highly regressive climate schemes have engendered disparate financial hardships on middle- and lower-income workers and minority communities, while providing direct economic subsidies to wealthier Californians in environmentalist strongholds like Marin County. This represents a significant departure from more traditional Democratic Party values.
The authors also found that climate change measures must align with constitutionally guaranteed civil rights, equal protection and due process. State policies can't succeed if they foster even more anonymous CEQA lawsuits aimed at stopping (or leveraging for economic gain) housing, transportation, and other plans and projects desperately required to address the state's growing impoverished, homeless and struggling population.
The authors support the call for California Climate 2.0, which would promote sustainable climate change measures that achieve net global reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and allow for the greater equity and upward mobility of all Californians.
Holland & Knight is pleased to offer a complimentary electronic version of this report: "California, Greenhouse Gas Regulation, and Climate Change," published by the Chapman University Center for Demographics and Policy.