Environmental protection laws are fundamental to California’s communities. California, through the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), is a national leader in safeguarding our environment and promoting smart and sustainable development.
But now, there’s an effort by some corporate special interests to weaken CEQA, which would put our environment and the health of our communities at risk. In response, California’s labor movement united recently to reject any efforts to eliminate the important protections this provides. At a recent meeting of its Executive Council, the California Labor Federation passed a resolution calling for the preservation of CEQA.
California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski:
For decades, CEQA has been a firewall for California communities, protecting our environment and promoting cleaner, more sustainable development. Efforts by big corporations to roll back this important law put California families, workers and our natural resources at risk.
The resolution notes that the CEQA has served for over 40 years to promote smart development, protect California’s environment and public health, and serve the bests interests of workers and their communities near these projects.
State Building and Construction Trades Council of California President Robbie Hunter warned of the dangers of deregulating our state’s landmark environmental protection laws.
Californians cannot afford another experiment with deregulation. When the legislature, under Governor Wilson, deregulated the power industry, we turned our trust over to the likes of Enron and Californians were literally left in the dark while the deregulated industry manipulated blackouts to increase their profits. More recently, Congress deregulated the banking industry and as a result, thousands of Californians lost their homes and jobs as Wall Street ran roughshod over working families. And we all remember picking up the tab for the deregulation of the savings and loan industry. California cannot roll the dice again, when it comes to this type of self-serving deregulation.
From the California Labor Federation resolution:
The California Labor Federation is committed to protecting the critical components of CEQA that have made it effective; and therefore be it
RESOLVED, that we will oppose efforts to substitute lesser standards for protection for the workers and communities we represent; and therefore be it RESOLVED, that the California Labor Federation will work with allies to educate the Legislature and the public about the important benefits to workers, communities, and our economy from preserving CEQA.