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Climate Change

Desert Dispatch and OC Register Add to Anti-Feuer Editorials

As we get closer to next week’s hearing on Mike Feuer’s transportation funding legislation, you can expect to see more and more piling on as newspapers trip over themselves to see who can write the worst editorial.  So far, the Press Enterprise's "Daily Dude" still has that distinction.

So far, LA Streetsblog has dissected three editorials, with a fourth one coming later today. The vitriol against Feuer seems to stem from how he cast some of his legislation as anti-global warming. However, to just discuss the legislation in terms of climate change denies a conversation about what is at stake locally.

Los Angeles County doesn’t have the funds to build the transit projects that are needed to relieve congestion in the region’s long term future. Feuer’s legislation aims to make it easier, after a vote of the people in the county, to correct that by identifying new funding sources. Placing a user fees on the cars and trucks that pollute the most, which incidently also tend to be the ones that weigh the most and thus do the most damage to roads, is a sensible solution.

Nevertheless, the Desert Dispatch today chose to reprint an editorial written this weekend by the Orange County Register. The editorial has a lot of the global-warming-denial language we’ve become accustomed to, but ends with a real head scratcher. Emphasis added by Streetsblog.

But facts don't deter schemes like Mr. Feuer's to raise $400 million in additional taxes to pay for already funded transit projects. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority would have to place the issue on the ballot if AB2558 becomes law, and probably would do so because the agency would reap the bounty.

I’m not sure what the Register is talking about, but Metro has been very public about the fact that it doesn’t have the money to build all of the rail projects that LA County needs in the coming decades.

Earlier in its anti-tax screed, the Register and Desert Dispatch argue that Feuer is just using global warming to frame the debate because "If it (congestion) went away tomorrow, politicians would be unable to persuade voters to tax themselves to fix it." If the Sun and Register have their way, we won’t even have a shot to make congestion go away, so figuring out a different way to get voters to tax themselves won’t be an issue.

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