Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is as green as any governor, from promoting alternative fuels to imposing carbon limits on California to fight climate change. But even he's had enough of the mindless interference with development that characterizes the actions of many environmentalists. In a state where one out of eight workers is unemployed, Mr. Schwarzenegger is asking the legislature for more authority to fast-track projects after they have undergone an environmental impact study.
"Right now the way it's written, a lot of those laws, it's an invitation to misuse them," he told reporters last week. "And it holds up projects for too long a period of time, especially now."
Mr. Schwarzenegger singled out environmental obstacles that are blocking construction of alternative energy farms in the Mojave Desert. Some of his green allies have become "fanatics," he said, and "go overboard." He then launched an extended riff explaining why he thought environmental objections to the Mojave Desert projects on the grounds they could hurt endangered species were, well, specious.
"So the environmentalists . . . are confused because they want to have renewable energy but then when it comes to the permitting process, creating that renewable energy and building the solar plants, they are then in the way. And they then talk about, 'You cannot go and destroy this squirrel.'"
"I say, 'What squirrel? I was out there, I didn't see a squirrel.'
"They say, 'Well, there could be a squirrel coming very soon.'
"So I say, 'But there's no squirrel there right now.'
"'But you've got to protect things that could be there.'"