Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Los Angeles Times:
As Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger travels the world exhorting countries to act quickly to reduce harmful gas emissions, his administration is helping California's construction industry stall tough new air quality rules at home.

In public hearings and private negotiations, administration transportation officials are working to slow a planned crackdown by regulators on aging diesel construction equipment — among the state's most noxious machinery and a major source of greenhouse gases.

The officials successfully lobbied a board appointed by the governor to delay voting on draft regulations for dealing with the polluters. The officials argued that the new rules, years in the making, were too tough on the construction industry — which is a major Schwarzenegger donor.

Last week, the governor fired the board's chairman, who said he was let go after pushing ahead with aggressive pollution curbs. The administration said the chairman was fired because he wasn't tough enough — a claim environmentalists find dubious. On Monday, the board's executive officer quit with a sharply worded criticism of the administration.

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