Friday, July 08, 2005

Legislature a speedbump on Hydrogen Highway

Even when Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger tries to support ideas traditionally considered to be in the Democrats' domains, the Legislature tries to get in his way. The latest example comes in his efforts to build a Hydrogen Highway in California.

Lawmakers raised questions about one spending item– $6.5 million for leasing 12 hydrogen-powered vehicles for the state fleet, three hydrogen fueling stations and hydrogen technology research – at a time when other programs are being cut.

"Even as an environmentalist, it's really hard to put $6.5 million into anything when you haven't got any money," said Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg, D-Los Angeles, who ultimately voted for the legislation.

The measure, which was part of a supplemental budget bill, couldn't get the required two-thirds vote, but it passed after lawmakers downgraded it to a majority-vote bill. The change means only that it will take effect Jan. 1 instead of immediately after being signed.

Could you imagine if Assemblymember Goldberg made those remarks about, say, Education or another lobby with a strong union?!? It's a sad day for the environment when Arnold Schwarzenegger is it's only friend.