Ex-Governors Call for Changes to Environmental Law

Three of California’s former governors have banded together to urge an overhaul of the state’s landmark environmental law, saying the 40-year-old measure needs to be “modernized” to help speed the Golden State’s economic recovery.

The message echoes that of Gov. Jerry Brown, who called for changes to the California Environmental Quality Act in his State of the State address last month.

Former Govs. George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson and Gray Davis made their case in the pages of the Sacramento Bee on Sunday, arguing in an op-ed that CEQA has become “the favorite tool of those who seek to stop economic growth and progress for reasons that have little to do with the environment.”

The measure requires developers to go through a lengthy public process detailing their projects’ potential environmental effects and how those would be mitigated. Business groups have long complained that activists, labor unions — even corporate competitors — abuse the law by filing frivolous lawsuits to delay and kill development.

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