Poor, boned California. It’s easy to pick on the Golden State. But it’s losing its entertainment value as it becomes more clear that their troubles are catching up to them. In the last decade more than 4 million residents have fled the state. The Government is addicted to taxation schemes, and they don’t hold up well when taxpayers leave while entitlement recipients stay right where they are. The math doesn’t work out.
But the regulatory environment in California is truly oppressive. Environmental laws are routinely used to stop construction of private homes and businesses, and in every case the exhaustive reporting requirements and inspections increase costs dramatically and unnecessarily add time to projects. As a result, many people don’t bother. It’s easier to pick up and take your chances in a state more friendly to business. Environmentalists deny this of course, including Governor Jerry Brown who has never met a regulation he hasn’t liked.
Until now, that is. Jerry’s pet project, the ultra-expensive train-to-nowhere high-speed rail project in Southern California, will encounter delays due to environmental regulations and the attendant court injunctions unless a law passes to allow the State to side-step them:
The Brown administration, laboring to start building California’s high-speed rail project by early next year, is preparing a proposal to insulate the project from environmental lawsuits, limiting circumstances in which a court may block construction of the line.
The proposal, criticized by environmentalists as it emerged on Friday, would protect the $68 billion project from court-ordered injunctions that might otherwise be issued under the California Environmental Quality Act.
At least the environmentalists are remaining consistent. But at some point you’d think someone would recognize that the same laws that the State rail project is avoiding aren’t avoidable by Joe Business Owner; Joe would pay huge fines and/or go to jail if he did the same. Here’s the point: If the State needs a break because the laws are so oppressive, how is Joe supposed to make it happen?
Environmental Laws used to be good. They used to be necessary and helpful. There used to be people and companies that didn’t care and abused our land and water and air. But the current environmental laws have lost sight of their goal and mutated into a counter-productive force. It is ironic that regulation-happy California would admit that with their actions, if not their words and laws.