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CEQA: That '70s law

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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:06 PM
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CEQA: That '70s law
It goes without saying: California desperately needs jobs. With unemployment hovering above 12% second highest in the nation too many Californians are living with the physical and psychological stress of being unemployed and living without any hope of a way out.

So why then do some of our elected officials still act as though we don't have a serious jobs crisis? Why are they refusing to examine certain politically untouchable, "third rail" laws, even though the original intent of some of these laws has been twisted and abused? One of the worst examples of this "don't dare broach the subject" form of policymaking is the misuse of the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA.

Enacted in the 1970s, the goal of CEQA was and continues to be a noble one: to make sure that the public is provided with a good-faith assessment of the reasonably foreseeable environmental impact of a proposed project. This information would be considered by the permitting agency before it approved or disapproved the project. However, CEQA has expanded from a thoughtful review for environmental purposes to an unruly set of laws and regulations that add complexity, cost, delay and, most problematic, unpredictability, and too frequently have been exploited for non-environmental purposes. All of this hinders job creation and tax revenue generation.

It is not uncommon for businesses, such as retailers, to organize and fund groups to oppose developments by their competitors under the guise of CEQA. It's also become fairly common for groups with union ties to oppose projects on CEQA grounds in order to extract labor-friendly promises.

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