In addition to the clear message that Western states sent yesterday to the federal government, another potentially exciting wrinkle of this welcome development stands out to us-- albeit one that originates from the context of healthy skepticism:
Theo Spencer, senior project manager at the Natural Resources Defense Council's Climate Center...said he believes some states within the partnership could have a tougher time meeting the new regional goal than others.
"In states like Arizona, this is going to be tough, because as I understand it, this is slightly more aggressive than that state's own reduction goals," Spencer said. "In fact, they may have the toughest row to hoe than any of the states because their (population) growth is tremendous and that will impact their emissions."
Spencer, of course, is dead right about the impact of population growth and potential sprawl. And that's why, even though we've managed to go more than 24 hours without talking about the California sprawl lawsuits, we're breaking our silence now to make a novel suggestion.
Jerry Brown is, by all accounts, a busy guy even after settling with San Bernardino-- preparing to defend the state's landmark emissions standards in court, looking for other development projects to put pressure on, and evidently weighing a run for Governor rooted largely in this issue. And we're well aware that a unique convergence of California's long-standing and recent environmental laws makes Brown's particular actions possible.
Nevertheless, it might do some good if he could find time to sit down with colleagues fromthe other Western states and talk a little smart growth planning...