Friday, June 29, 2007

Confusion Reigns at CARB

Gov Schwarzenegger has fired Chairman Sawyer and others at CARB and it is not immediately clear why. The LA Times reports on unprecedented administration interference in the agency, seeking the firing longtime staffers. The Governor has publicly chastised the board for delaying implementation of Central Valley clean air targets, but everyone seems confused.

According to the Michael Collier's Politics Blog on
Robert Sawyer, appointed by the governor in 2005, was one of three ''no'' votes last week when the board adopted three new policy changes to curb carbon dioxide and other emissions statewide. Sawyer, like several environmental groups, thought the board should have made more changes than the three that the governor sought.
Plug -in and electric car advocates felt they were getting a generally fairer shake from Sawyer than his much criticized predecessor Alan Lloyd, but recent ZEV mandate staff and board actions suggested no major changes in its implementation. Enviros and industry has been all over the map in their opinions about Sawyer's stewardship of the nation's most powerful clean air agency. The governor's appointment of a new Chair will help us understand whether it was Arnold's much ballyhooed concern for the environment or deep connections to industry that led him to fire Sawyer.