LA Times Editorial: “Too Many CEQA Execptions” 7/14/15

The LA Times editorialized today against the annual exercise of legislators granting favored projects CEQA exemptions and urged Governor Brown and the Legislature to instead focus on fixing CEQA.

The editorial says, But it seems he and his colleagues in Sacramento are more interested in using their power to grant exemptions rather than to fix the underlying problems.”

The CEQA Working Group believes CEQA needs to be updated to stamp out abuses. It has become an annual ritual for politically connected projects to be granted legislatively sanctioned CEQA exemptions. CEQA needs reform to prevent the law from being abused for non-environmental reasons. The law should work for everyone and reforms to CEQA should benefit all projects, not just those with political connections.  

Read the full editorial,Too many CEQA exemptions”. Below are key excerpts:

  • “The real concern is that lawmakers keep carving out CEQA exemptions for favored projects.”
  • “Yet legislators and Gov. Jerry Brown show no interest in comprehensive CEQA reform that would give all projects — not just lawmakers’ picks — the opportunity for streamlined review.”
  • “Instead, they seem perfectly happy to create a two-tier system in which projects with enough lobbyists or political supporters can get on the fast track, while other projects get stuck in the slow lane.”
  • “Certainly it will be difficult to craft a sensible, reasonable reform package that maintains the fundamental purpose of CEQA, which is to ensure that decision-makers have the analysis and public feedback they need to make intelligent choices.”
  • “Brown himself has said that CEQA reform is “the Lord’s work.” But it seems he and his colleagues in Sacramento are more interested in using their power to grant exemptions rather than to fix the underlying problems.”

About the CEQA Working Group: The CEQA Working Group is a broad coalition of local government, affordable housing, business, agriculture, education and other organizations advocating for moderate reforms to CEQA that will preserve its original intent – environmental protection and public disclosure – while eliminating some of the misuses of CEQA that hurt job creation, community renewal and our environment.  www.ceqaworkinggroup.com

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