Paul Rogers of the San Jose Mercury News summarizes the California legislature’s environmental record:
The environmental movement bumped into a bad economy in Sacramento this year, and there’s little doubt who came up on the short end.
“For the environment, this is probably the least productive year in a decade,” said Warner Chabot, executive director of the California League of Conservation Voters.
With unemployment at 12 percent, the state facing continued deficits and a national climate hostile to many new government regulations, the political will in Sacramento — even among Democrats — for broad new conservation measures was largely drowned out this year.
As California’s 2011 legislative session wound down at midnight Friday, environmentalists who had hoped a year ago that the election of Democrat Jerry Brown as governor might bring a wave of new green laws were instead left to consider a few small victories, and plenty of disappointment.
Among the modest results: A ban on shark fin soup. A penny per-barrel increase on the fee oil companies pay to fund California’s oil spill programs. And a prohibition on a controversial chemical used in baby bottles.