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Jerry Brown Talks About Cars, Cows, & Getting Off Greenhouse

July 31st, 2008 by Celeste Fremon

egb.jpg

When it comes to conspicuous oil consumption
and an underregulated greenhouse gas policy, Jerry Brown says he’s really, really over it.

He is also totally over it with our commuter culture—-and with people who don’t get that there’s a problem with all the above.

To make the point, he’s been filing lawsuits.

For instance, last spring he sued San Bernardino County to force that county’s planners to include global-warming counter-measures as a part of the county’s growth blueprint (the General Plan). Some people claimed Brown was grandstanding. (Which he probably was, at least in part..) But in the end, SB settled and now is one of the state’s leaders on the issue.

This morning, Attorney General Brown, (who is also 2010-candidate-for-Governor Brown) is holding an 11:30 a.m. press conference at the Port of Long Beach to announce that he is slapping a lawsuit on the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to regulate greenhouse gas pollution from ships, aircraft, and construction and agricultural equipment.

“Ships, aircraft and industrial equipment burn huge quantities of fossil fuel and cause massive greenhouse gas pollution,” growled Brown in his official statement. “Yet President Bush stalls with one bureaucratic dodge after another. Because Bush’s Environmental Protection Agency continues to wantonly ignore its duty to regulate pollution, California is forced to seek judicial action.”

Cool.

Not everyone has been pleased with the nature of Jerry’s proactive responses to global warming.

A few weeks ago, Joel Kotkin, an author/pundit/think tank-ish type specializing in public policy and business trends, grumpily slammed Brown in a Wall Street Journal Op Ed accusing the AG of “waging war on the very communities his father helped make possible.”

Kotkin even trotted out the old, extremely tired, pathetically-dog-eared Governor Moonbeam trope.

[Brown] sees suburban houses as inefficient users of energy,” snarked Kotkin. “He sees suburban commuters clogging the roads as wasting precious fossil fuel. And, mostly, he sees wisdom in an intricately thought-out plan to compel residents to move to city centers or, at least, to high-density developments clustered near mass transit lines…”

A very irritated Brown fired back in a letter that was published in yesterday’s WSJ.

With gasoline at $4 a gallon, the dollar plunging, and foreign oil producers taking trillions from hard pressed Americans, one would think that cutting dangerous oil dependency was a no-brainer. Apparently not for Joel Kotkin, whose “Jerry Brown’s War on California Suburbs” complains about my efforts to ensure that California cities and counties comply with our first-in-the-nation energy and greenhouse gas laws. Mr. Kotkin mischaracterizes my efforts as a war on suburbs and paints an oddly cheerful picture of freeway living, including an assertion that our highways are not clogged by long commutes. Mr. Kotkin’s vision of unending sprawl is better suited to the 1950s, when gasoline was 20 cents per gallon and California had 11 million, not 37 million residents.

[SNIP]

No thoughtful person can really question the fact that we must grow smarter, with more efficient and less polluting transportation. Nor, in a time of escalating food prices, can we afford to wantonly plow over irreplaceable farmland. That is why I make no apologies for promoting efficient building standards, renewable energy, and communities that work for people and businesses, not just oil companies.

I talked with Jerry yesterday about the Kotkin piece and a few other issues. Here’s some of what he said:


WLA:
You sure had a strong reaction to Joel Kotkin’s column….


Edmund G. Brown Jr.:
Yeah. I thought Kotkin was a pretty progressive guy. But that was Neanderthalic. (pause) Is Neanderthalic a word?


WLA:
If it isn’t, I’m sure it should be.


EGB:
I like it. Neanderthalic.

Anyway, my thing on greenhouse gasses is efficiency with building, efficiency with appliances, and the design of community so it’s on a more human scale.

What we have now, in a lot of ways, is a system where we build “garages” for people 30 or 40 miles from job centers. So people are required to make a 60 or 80 mile commute every day. And you incentivize it because the land is cheap away from the job centers. And the land is cheap because you kick the cows off it. Once you kick the cows off it, you put these little “garages” in there, these “storage centers,” then we pack them full of people. They don’t have schools near them. They don’t have stores near them. So to get out of that pattern of driving everywhere you need some evolutionary planning. And most city planners agree with that.


WLA:
Okay, but we’ve been encouraging people to move to the suburbs for sixty-plus years. How do you propose to make a change in that pattern?


EGB:
First we need better designed houses so they’re not leaking energy. And you require that. Then we need housing and shopping and jobs in close alignment. We tell [developers] you can’t build 5000 houses ten miles from any store, unless you want to pay higher fees.


WLA:
You really think that’ll make any kind of measureable dent?


EGB:
It’s not easy. A lot of people can’t afford to live where they work. So, this is extremely difficult. And each community is different. That’s why we’re holding workshops all over the state and talking to city planners. We’re engaging in a dialogue and asking: How do we live together better? And how do we plan for that? We’re trying to make these changes in a very gentle, evolutionary way. But we’ve got to make the community more complete, with schools, stores, and jobs. It’s a more of a human scale.

Look, we’re killing ourselves with oil imports, climate change, pollution and so many hours invested in inefficient travel.

How’re you going to build more freeways? Look at Santa Monica. What’re you going to do? Double-deck the Santa Monica Freeway? We’ve already got a lot of freeways, so that’s not the way.

We’ve got to do something.

Otherwise billions of dollars of our money will keep going to buy oil. And that’s not good. So we’re starting the dialogue.

Posted in environment, State government | 42 Comments »

42 Responses

  1. Layla Says:

    He’s lookin’ good to me.

  2. Woody Says:

    C: Okay, but we’ve been encouraging people to move to the suburbs for sixty-plus years. How do you propose to make a change in that pattern?

    Answer: Pass a Constitutional amendment to prohibit liberals from holding offices in the central cities.

    Do you mean that liberals have been encouraging people to move to the suburbs so that they could take over the cities? Well, it worked. Now, you want those people back to pay for your waste and failures.

    You folks just hate that other people reject your sorry solutions and your smarter-than-thou attitudes by voting with their feet and moving to the happy and secure life of the suburbs. Blame yourself.

    Also, the best definition of the dreaded “sprawl” is “people living where they want.” Wow! That’s really bad.

    Why, look what the king of alarmism is doing about getting his family further away.
    Al Gore Places Infant Son In Rocket To Escape Dying Planet

    Another day, another attempt to educate liberals. Won’t you ever give me a rest?

  3. Yes He Wood Says:

    Woody.

    Is a dolt.

    “Another day, another attempt to educate liberals. Won’t you ever give me a rest?”

    Actually, it’s your own fault. You stay up late building strawmen, and then even later knocking them down. It’s surprising that your free market ways support such an inefficient use of your calorie intake.

    I like that a guy claiming to educate liberals also, at the same time, accuses liberals of “smarter-than-thou attitudes” – clever, that.

    The main beef you have is that Americans have dared in their history to use gov’t regulation to improve the lives of Americans. Gov’t regulation into the market addresses nearly everything you do all day “Woody”, even the corporate subsidies and sweetheart contracting deals that your dear Republicans dole out daily.

    The issue is not whether or not regulation should exist (which you purport to imply in your facile manner), but how to better regulate to help the free market work even better, taking into account externalities that are currently not regulated so as to allow the free market to factor in the costs/benefits (such as the effects of pollution, traffic and quality of life).

  4. Woody Says:

    The main beef you have is that Americans have dared in their history to use gov’t regulation to improve the lives of Americans.

    Nope. You’re wrong there. If government really did that, we’d be drilling for oil in ANWR right now.

    Government regulation under the Democrats is mainly a scheme to redistribute wealth from the productive to the non-productive–coupled with horrible inefficiencies.

    And, see, you are a prime example of what I called “your smarter-than-thou attitudes.” You try to come across as all-knowing, but simply can’t pull it off. In what socialist land did you major in economics–California?

  5. Yes He Wood Says:

    Yikes:

    ===Nope. You’re wrong there. If government really did that, we’d be drilling for oil in ANWR right now.===
    Um, gov’t can’t force oil companies to drill, it can only liberalize the laws to ALLOW them to drill. Oil companies currently have 68 million acres of leases that they are NOT putting into production. I guess we could hand them ANWR so they can hold that in their pocket for later too. Better, smarter regulation would unleash the free market to create the BEST use and distribution of resources . . . . but you digress.

    ==Government regulation under the Democrats is mainly a scheme to redistribute wealth from the productive to the non-productive–coupled with horrible inefficiencies.==
    That’s right, you figured it out, Democrats have huddled together to concoct this secret “scheme” to take everything productive and turn it into non-productive inefficiency, what a Great Plan ! Nothing like the shrewd Republicans, who have had such great stewardship over the levers of public power over the last 8 years and used a historical record of wealth redistribution to the top 1% (true) to put our economy into such supple, strong shape. Oh . . . wait . . .

    ==And, see, you are a prime example of what I called “your smarter-than-thou attitudes.” You try to come across as all-knowing, but simply can’t pull it off. In what socialist land did you major in economics==
    America. What about you?

  6. Woody Says:

    Oil companies currently have 68 million acres of leases that they are NOT putting into production.

    Well, it’s obvious that you love to be spoonfed misleading talking points from Democrats and then spew it back out with no understanding. First, you discount that exploration and research is not going on in those “idle” lands, which is wrong. Second, why do you think that oil companies would prefer to drill in an area that has high potential capacity rather than other land where potential is low or proven not to exist? The Democrats put political points of appeasing “environmentalists” over our nation’s needs.

    Democrats have huddled together to concoct this secret “scheme” to take everything productive and turn it into non-productive inefficiency….

    I call it buying votes with other people’s money, which is exactly what it is. Did you know that your despised top 1% of taxpayers paid more taxes than the bottom 95%? True.

    America.
    There’s no way that you majored in or studied economics–not even at the People’s Re-education Centers of Berkeley or Columbia.

    Quit wasting my time.

  7. "reg" Says:

    “Quit wasting my time.” One of the most egregious time-wasters – and lying phonies – who has ever graced the internet with his comments, making me laugh.

    On to stuff that exists beneath the ozone layer…Jerry Brown is not one of my favorite people, after strongly supporting him as my mayor and then watching him let his ego get in the way of doing an effective job. (Most galling to me, his relationship with the school board was atrocious and he appointed a sock-puppet to the board who was almost as worthless as his “arts czar” buddy or whatever the hell it was we wasted a salary on for that creep. Also, Jerry pushed out one of the most competent civil servants Oakland has ever had, Robert Bobb, replacing him with an incompetent, corrupt do-nothing hack who just got fired for obstucting a drug bust that focused on one of her relatives. Thanks, Jerry, for allowiing Deborah Edgerly to reach not just her level of incompetence, but well above even that.)

    That said (and it needs to be said – although Dellums is just as bad if not worse than Jerry in the narcissism-trumps-governance department), Brown just did a great thing in using his good offices to force the wording of the anti-gay marriage proposition to actually say what it means, rather than flaunt bullshit rhetoric about “saving marriage and the family”, etc. etc. ad nauseum, absurdum and flagrant dishonesty.

  8. "reg" Says:

    Incidentally, Jerry was a pretty decent governor in his day, and looks to be a decent attorney general, but reading the above I think his real forte would be talk show host (at some venue that’s not as crackpot as KPFA, where he resided when he decided to offer himself as our mayor) and head of a well-funded non-profit that could launch environmental and alt-energy experiments. After watching his mayoral mediocrity (which, admittedly was a step up for Oakland after a series of dead guys) I plead, please don’t run for governor…it’d be too much like digging back into the closet for that pair of bell-bottoms. There’s gotta be a Democrat out there better than Brown (or god-forbid, Villagarosa.)

  9. "reg" Says:

    Incidentally, on Woody’s “fact” about the top 1% paying more taxes than the bottom 95%, if you check his link it turns out to be false. On two counts. Not only do they not even pay MORE federal income taxes than the “bottom” 95%, which is what Woody bases his misleading (actually false) assertion on, any intelligent 13-year old (Woody lies in the annoying-and-not-too-bright 12-year old terrain) knows that federal income tax is hardly the total tax bill. And most especially for folks who aren’t in the stratospheric range of the top 1%. Other taxes – from sales tax, to payroll taxes (which hit the lower and middle class hardest), to various fees and taxes on basic services make up a much larger percentage of the middle-to-lower class total tax bill than it does for multi-millionaires who – even after their encounter with the IRS – have lots and lots of dough left over after they pay the basic bills. This is elementary – and for an “accountant” Woody comes off like the know-nothing that he proves himself, time and again.

  10. richard locicero Says:

    The top one percent have MORE Wealth than the bottom 90 per cent. Maybe that explains tax burdens/

    (Oh, that comes from thos commies at the Census Bureau!)

  11. Woody Says:

    reg, let’s just offset welfare and other “entitlements” for the bottom 95% to make things even.

    Don’t try to argue numbers or taxes with me. You would never win. If I can handle the IRS, I can sure handle you.

    Now, back to this phony global warming nonsense.

  12. "reg" Says:

    Woody, your alleged “expertise” is as phony as the rest of your drivel.

  13. Woody Says:

    My clients disagree with you.

  14. "reg" Says:

    If there’s a God, your clients will never cross my path…nor will they be subjected to the idiotic crap you post here and elsewhere on “economics.”

  15. Woody Says:

    Yeah, yeah, yeah…. I’ve never see an economics course that taught that prices come down when demand increases and supplies are limited–such as the Democrats are doing by refusing drilling in proven areas of production. Perhaps you can explain why this “crap” is incorrect. What do you do, raise taxes on oil companies so that they will reduce prices? Brilliant.

    Additionally, I’m surprised that a Marxist would even consider “if there’s a God.”

  16. Randy Paul Says:

    Hasn’t the price of gas along with crude oil dropped in the past couple of weeks?

  17. Randy Paul Says:

    Additionally, I’m surprised that a Marxist would even consider “if there’s a God.”

    I don’t believe that it has been established that Reg is a marxist, but you are a blasphemer.

  18. Woody Says:

    Randy, there are other segments of supply and demand, which includes possible future supplies. By Bush recinding the Presidential directive which prohibited offshore drilling, the futures speculators backed down and the price dropped–NO THANKS TO DEMOCRATS.

    Go suck on your golden idol.

  19. Randy Paul Says:

    For oil that would not arrive for nearly ten years. Time for investment in alternatives for those who actually have a vision for such.

    I’m a Roman Catholic, by the way, but you are a blasphemer.

  20. "reg" Says:

    “By Bush recinding the Presidential directive which prohibited offshore drilling, the futures speculators backed down and the price dropped–NO THANKS TO DEMOCRATS.”

    Only a total idiot would assert something that obviously false. Futures speculators aren’t responding to ten year or more horizons – 30 months is typical and the longest is 84. Most price decrease at this point is because the price was pushed to a peak and consumers responded – classic supply-demand economics, albeit within a highly manipulated market. Only an economic illiterate would suggest that the possibility of the U.S. IN THE FUTURE expanding already extensive off-shore drilling to the California coast has impacted this past weeks oil prices or even existiing futures markets. Total fucking idiot….

  21. "reg" Says:

    And, of course, Bush lifting the executive ban was a SYMBOLIC move aimed at pressuring Congress. And if Congress lifted exclusions on off-shore, it still wouldn’t pass the California legilsature or get through Gov. Schwarznegger who OPPOSES more drilling.

    But Woody will say anything…no matter how preposterous. Shocking that he’s not embarrassed by the crap he comes up with.

  22. Woody Says:

    Ten years!? That’s what the Democrats would want you to believe. Try less than three. Of course, they were saying “ten years” more than ten years ago, when they could have done something then. Will they be saying the same thing ten years from now?

    Symbolic?! Speculators respond to symbolic moves that open the way to future substantive changes. Believe me. When the President of the United States says something related to the market, you can expect a response from speculators.

    Let’s make a deal. You don’t challenge me on issues regarding finance and taxes and I’ll honor your expertise on The Communist Manifesto.

  23. reg Says:

    Screw you. You don’t have a goddam clue. :Literally don’t know what you’re talking about. And raising “communism” is the last resort of garbage minds such as yours. Take a nap or watch ESPN, either of which you might be able to manage without embarrassing yourself.

  24. reg Says:

    You’re right of course that ten years is nonsense. The federal Energy Information Administration estimates that access to new US deposits would not significantly affect overall domestic production for 22 years. Seismic studies alone for offshore development would take years.

  25. Randy Paul Says:

    Ten years!? That’s what the Democrats would want you to believe. Try less than three. Of course, they were saying “ten years” more than ten years ago, when they could have done something then. Will they be saying the same thing ten years from now?

    Once again the blasphemer doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Here’s a report from the Bush administration’s Department of Energy:

    The projections in the OCS access case indicate that access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030. Leasing would begin no sooner than 2012, and production would not be expected to start before 2017. Total domestic production of crude oil from 2012 through 2030 in the OCS access case is projected to be 1.6 percent higher than in the reference case, and 3 percent higher in 2030 alone, at 5.6 million barrels per day. For the lower 48 OCS, annual crude oil production in 2030 is projected to be 7 percent higher—2.4 million barrels per day in the OCS access case compared with 2.2 million barrels per day in the reference case (Figure 20). Because oil prices are determined on the international market, however, any impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be insignificant.

    The experts in the Executive Branch have spoken.

  26. Woody Says:

    Try the experts from the oil companies rather than government bureaucrats intent on growing their empires. Also, that department is not Bush’s. Those employees got entrenched much earlier and have taken on the big government ideals of the Democrats.

  27. "reg" Says:

    Best laugh line on the thread:

    “Try the experts from the oil companies…”

    Second funniest:
    “And that department is not Bush’s.” Which in Woodyworld means you can’t trust them because they’re pinkos.

    If this country goes down the tubes, Woody will be a study in everything that helped destroy it. Blissful ignorance, bigotry just below the surface of every knee-jerk reactioin, putrid self-satisfaction, rabid partisanship, utter dishonesty, total lack of self-awareness…

  28. "reg" Says:

    Name a department of the federal government that Bush has been able to own and control that hasn’t been exposed as corrupt, incompetent and/or partisan disinformation operations. Unfortunately, the Gonzales Justice Department is the quintessential government operation that’s “Bush’s.” Ditto the FEMA during Katrina and the Pentagon under his man Rummy – both of which were the locus of utter disaster.

  29. "reg" Says:

    I’ve said it elsewhere – it’s hard to believe that any real person would persist in being so publicly stupid as Woody. Is it possible that he’s the absurd concoction of some weirdo performance artist operating out of a Brooklyn loft ? I’m beginning to think that’s more plausible than the “I’m just a Georgia accountant” thing.

  30. richard locicero Says:

    Well I guess the accountant in Atlanta got lost in his CCH volumns again so a few facts may be in order. And these come from the industry and DOE – I know a bunch of pinkos!

    FACT: The oil Companies are now sitting on 5,000 unused offshore leases

    FACT: There is now a FIVE YEAR waiting list for offshore drilling rigs

    So, even if the Congress passed a repeal tomorrow and Bush Signed it it would take half a decade before any exploration could even begin.

    Why did prices drop? Reg suggests one reason but another that is quite openinly discussed is the dimunution of tensions in the region – looks like we’re bugging out of Iraq and talking to Iran. Some experts put a “War Scare” premium on oil at up to 50% of the current price.

    Finally – Obama’s proposal to rebate $1000 to family for increased gas and heating oil charges (paid for by a windfall profits tax on big oil) would provide fare more relief and a lot faster. Check Mate Woodster!

  31. WBC Says:

    Wow, over 6 hours have passed and both sides are silent in their corners — nice, stay in your time outs.

    Not to reignite this “debate” but it seems just another case of about-face for Obama to now come out with proposing a $1000/ family gas rebate when he vehemently opposed Hillary and McCain’s summer freeze on gas prices as a “PR stunt” (which would have amounted to about the same thing, but without the cumbersome process of collecting money from the oil companies and then sending it to taxpayers).

  32. Randy Paul Says:

    Woody still has nothing and doesn’t understand basic civics. The Department of Energy is a cabinet position.

  33. Woody Says:

    Randy, you’re such an idiot, as I constantly have to remind you. Don’t you know that there are lifetime bureaucrats entrenched in the various departments who aren’t replaced with every president, unless it’s someone like Clinton who fired all the U.S. Attorneys. Those people pretty much do what they want to keep their jobs going rather than being even indirectly accountable to the President. If your theory were true, Pres. Reagan would have demolished Carter’s Department of Education.

  34. "reg" Says:

    More executive power to rule by fiat pleeeeze and to override any and all empirical research or techinical expertise that conflicts with partisan political agendas…because, you know, we’re “conservatives.”

  35. Woody Says:

    reg, I’d take you seriously if you were actually able to think logically and speak truthfully.

  36. "reg" Says:

    I’d suggest you go crawl in a hole, but you’ve already dug one for yourself. No sane person could possibly take you seriously. You’re a dishonest creep without even the backbone or dignity to admit it when you’ve over-reached or been proven wrong. Very sad. Actually, not sad. Just kind of silly. Your worst sin isn’t that you’re ridiculous, it’s that you have an undeniable knack for being ridiculous yet managing to waste other people’s time.

  37. Randy Paul Says:

    Randy, you’re such an idiot, as I constantly have to remind you.

    No tiene nada, sie haben nichts, nao tem nada, non ha nulla, ليس لديها, е нищо, ste ništa, jste si nic, de har intet, je hebt niets, sinulla ei ole mitään,δεν έχετε τίποτε,आपके पास कुछ भी नही, du har ingenting, masz nic, aveţi nimic, Вам нечего, ni har ingenting.

    In eighteen languages, it’s clear: you have nothing. You believe that your opinion is fact. That’s pride, Woody and pride is a cardinal sin. You can add that to your blasphemy.

  38. Randy Paul Says:

    Just for the record, Woody: the Department of Energy ultimately decides what press releases to make public. If there is something factually wrong with the EIA report, please present something from an independent source to refute the findings. If not, then stop with the baseless name-calling.

  39. Woody Says:

    Randy, the Department of Energy is run by government bureaucrats, but I don’t have a reference for you on that. I don’t need an independent source. I just have to know that government prepared the study to know that it will be full or errors.

    reg, when did you prove me wrong? You mean with left-wing, twisted studies that will say whatever you need, despite the bias and errors in them?

  40. Randy Paul Says:

    Randy, the Department of Energy is run by government bureaucrats, but I don’t have a reference for you on that. I don’t need an independent source. I just have to know that government prepared the study to know that it will be full or errors.

    In other words, it’s only your opinion and nothing factual.

  41. "reg" Says:

    “reg, when did you prove me wrong? You mean with left-wing, twisted studies that will say whatever you need, despite the bias and errors in them?”

    Actually, most recently with a government study that was used as a reference in something you linked to over at Coopers, yet the guy’s who cited it inflated/distorted the data by a factor of 100%.

    The worst thing about you Woody, aside from the ignorance and bigotry, is that even in the face of being shown that you’re using information that is distorted, unreliable and/or totally false, you never admit error. One can go through life being an idiot, bu this absolute lack of grace, this utter inability to admit error or overreach and correct oneself in the face of overwhelming evidence, is a self-destructive trait and I would counsel professional help.

  42. Steve Says:

    Interesting, but lets look at history. Gov. Jerry Brown single handedly distroyed the California freeway system that was designed to accomidate you today. He eliminated the construction of over 30% of the new freeways that were to be built in Southern Calfornia.

    Now, I am a Civil Engineer and would have agreed with that policy if he implimented other transportation methods as a substitute. But he didn’t.

    He didn’t impliment the construction of light rail or extended bus service. His idea was that if we didn’t build the new freeways people would stop coming to California.
    That is on the record. If you question it look up “How Gov Jerry Brown distroyed the California freeway system” and there are plenty of articles to review.

    But, if you enjoy your commute every day and like to be stuck in traffic, vote for him because if he becomes govenor you will get more of the same.

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