Jerry Brown, faux foe of regulation

April 13, 2013

By Chris Reed

Jerry Brown has talked such a good game on regulations that he often gets credit for being a stalwart on the issue — even when all he ever does is offer lip service.

That’s why Dan Walters’ column on the topic is so maddening. He presents a 2 + 2 scenario, and then doesn’t mention it adds up to 4.

“As attorney general and governor, he embraced one of the state’s most comprehensive regulatory schemes, aimed at reducing emissions of carbon to retard global warming.

“Brown threatened to sue local governments that didn’t meet his global warming standards, endorsed a shift in power generation to non-carbon sources that will raise utility costs and embraced cap-and-trade emission controls that will exact billions of dollars in fees from business.

“But he’s also criticized CEQA, signed by his predecessor, Ronald Reagan, as a ‘blob,’ called for streamlining its procedures and quipped, ‘I’ve never seen a CEQA exemption that I don’t like.’

The governor doesn’t just do his shtick in California. He’s also performing this week in California, noted Walters:

“‘We’ve got more damn laws than you can think of,’ Brown told one gathering, adding that there are ‘endless ideas’ about adding more regulation and he sees his job as ‘to find a way to cut through that.’

“‘To the extent you have any red tape, there’s no one more anxious to reduce it,’ Brown told an appreciative group of business people.

“So does Brown really want to lower regulatory hurdles or is it just a convenient and momentary posture? With Brown, one never knows.”

That last paragraph is kind of mind-boggling. Where’s the beef? Where’s the evidence that Jerry’s libertarian rhetoric has any follow-through at all?





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