Saturday, August 17, 2013

Environmental Compliance for Thee, But Not For Me - California's High Speed Choo Choo

If a business project fails to follow environmental regulations and it loses a court case, the project comes to a halt.  When the loser is the State of California, this rule applies not so much.  Superior court judge Michael P. Kenney has ruled that the state has violated the law implementing high speed rail, Proposition 1A, by failing to file required environmental reports.  The response from the state and the high speed rail commission? 
"Today's ruling is that the legislative appropriation for high-speed rail … remains valid, and our work on the project continues," said Dan Richard, the agency's chairman. "We take our commitment to Proposition 1A seriously and continue to work towards developing a high-speed rail project that benefits all Californians."
And where are the environmentalists protesting this abuse of power by the state in ignoring environmental law?  Queue the crickets, of course.  To be fair, in 2012, the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council put out press releases criticizing watering down California environmental law in this case, but they have been mute on the latest ruling.

In this case, the judge has delayed ruling on what remedy might be imposed on the state.  He is understandably reluctant to invalidate an appropriation of the state legislature.  Unfortunately, judges do not always seem so reluctant when the legislative purpose has a conservative goal.  Further, the state appears to be taking the legal course that state environmental law doesn't apply to the project.  Judge Kenney will hold another hearing to determine the remedy required.  

Bottom line, the leftists in power continue to flaunt any law they don't want to apply to themselves.  The ACA is only the most notable example.

What You Should Be Reading.

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