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Governor Greenhouse

OC Register: Why Just Exempt the Stadium?

10:39 AM PDT on October 28, 2009

2_2_09_stadium.jpgGovernor Schwarzenegger is ready for some football and sweetheart deals for billionaires.

Last weekend, in the wake of Governor Schwarzenegger's signing of a law exempting the largest development project in Southern California since the L.A. Colliseum, the drumbeat began for more exemptions for projects that are going to be a lot less destructive to the environment.  The OC Register opines in a Saturday editorial:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last week may have cemented his eventuallegacy as the man who brought professional football back to LosAngeles. But a better characterization might be that he gave onebusiness a pass on having to follow laws that he otherwise vigorouslysupports, and, depending on how the process unfolds, that he puttaxpayers in harm's way...

...Gov. Schwarzenegger made the case for one business that we've beenmaking for all businesses – that environmental mandates have grown sosevere they unfairly restrict business growth and add significantly tocost. If it works for Mr. Roski, why not for Mr. or Ms. EveryEntrepreneur?

As a supporter of strong environmental reviews, I can't help but agree with their central point.  If you're going to exempt a mega-project such as the stadium, enforcing the law on smaller developments seems unfair.  Strike another victory for our Environmental Governor!

The editorial goes on to mention that the claimed economic benefits of sports stadiums rarely meet the boasts of officials before the stadium is built.   However, as a supporter of gutting environmental regulations, the paper doesn't mention that the only people that officially reviewed the environmental documents for the project were the City Council representing eight hundred people in the City of Industry.  They also didn't mention that Industry's Mayor and other elected leaders are going to reap a windfall in contracts when the stadium is completed.

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