The battle lines over what may become this year’s most contentious, intractable legislative battle began to form within a day or two of when Gov. Jerry Brown uttered two key sentences in his mid-January state of the state speech:
“We also need to rethink and streamline our regulatory procedures, particularly the California Environmental Quality Act,” he said. “Our approach needs to be based more on consistent standards that provide greater certainty and cut needless delays.”
A huge portion of the Internet chatter that followed Brown’s talk centered around those 34 words, which made up about one percent of his talk.
The two sentences embellished only slightly on Brown’s oft-quoted previous sentiment: “I’ve never seen a CEQA exemption I didn’t like.” That feeling stems from his eight years as mayor of Oakland, where, among other projects, his efforts to start a military academy for inner-city youth suffered CEQA-related delays...