Los Angeles Times
By George Skelton Capitol Journal
In Lake Tahoe a cry for regulatory relief
California needs to hear the same message about loosening environmental regulations to spur economic growth that Tahoe regulators are beginning to heed.
STATELINE, NEV.— The blue waters of Lake Tahoe framed the stunning backdrop as the politicians orated. There were some droning Nevadans and three always-interesting Californians: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock and Gov. Jerry Brown.
This was a “save the lake” crowd, heavy on environmental concerns, attending the 16th Annual Lake Tahoe Summit inaugurated in 1997 by President Clinton.
The recent event was basically designed as a pep rally for continued slow growth and environmental regulation.
And you wouldn’t guess who drew the most enthusiastic response from these lake lovers: It was that right-wing, regulation-hating McClintock, whose sprawling district includes the California side of the lake.
“Today’s theme is private-public partnerships for environmental improvement, but there’s not going to be a private sector left unless we get serious about economic improvement,” the Republican warned, drawing loud applause from the mostly local crowd of roughly 200.
Credit: Michael Marfell
“Tourists don’t go where they’re not welcomed, or where facilities are left to decay because simple repairs can’t be made, or where prices are inflated to pay for exorbitant [permit] fees….”
“People are fleeing Lake Tahoe,” continued the former Southern California state legislator and one-time gubernatorial candidate. “And a lot of them are heading to the Nevada desert.
“With all due respect, no conceivable act of God could turn Lake Tahoe into a less-desirable place for people to live and work and raise a family than the Nevada desert. Only acts of government could do that. And they have.” Complete LA Times Article here:
“Sacramento should learn a lesson and follow suit for the entire state of California. There’s a cry for reform — not unlike McClintock’s — that has been reverberating throughout California’s private sector in a state infamous nationally for its anti-business climate.
“‘I’m tired of all the talk about stimulating jobs; it’s just empty rhetoric,’ says Jim Earp, executive director of the California Alliance for Jobs, a coalition of construction unions and building contractors. ‘You can’t talk about improving the economy of the state without doing something about CEQA’— the California Environmental Quality Act, also signed by Reagan — ‘and other regulations that are just stifling business. And I’m a Democrat.’
It has been forty nine days since Elizabeth Emken has challenged the sitting Senator Dianne Feinstein to debate. If she has the time to go visit Lake Tahoe why not debate senator?
One can only wonder what the Senior U.S. Senator from CA was thinking when she heard environmental advocates applauding a conservative California congressman for his rant on bureaucratic overreach?
A debate between Feinstein and Elizabeth Emken focusing on government regulations and their effect on jobs would answer that question. In fact, that’s one of the debates that the Feinstein campaign turned down because they were ‘too busy.’ But apparently not too busy to enjoy a day at the lake.”