OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Posts Tagged ‘AQMD’

Democrats Move To Further Rig The Game At AQMD Following Significant Republican Win Last Year

Posted by Greg Woodard on March 9, 2016

With the election of Dwight Robinson to the South Coast Air Quality Management Board (“AQMD”) last year, the Board tipped to a 7-6 Republican majority, a rarity in any California public body with a range as large as the AQMD.  Robinson’s election also served to bolster the prospects for businesses in Southern California who hoped to finally be free from some of the most oppressive AQMD regulations that are forcing them to flee the state at alarming speed.  Never allowing the democratic process to get in the way of their agenda (Robinson was elected by a majority of city mayors in the Southern California region, and a majority of the population), the Democrats have thrown a legislative temper tantrum.  Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon (D) will introduce a bill to enlarge the already 13-member Board by 3 members, adding one so-called public health expert and two environmental justice members.  All three new members would be appointed by the Governor or the legislature, both of which are safely in the Democrats’ hands.  It is not difficult to imagine how those three votes will be cast.  Of course, this will guarantee that the Board will flip back to the Democrats, and all will be right in the liberals’ ivory tower world, with them once again free to regulate businesses to death.

De Leon’s bill also removes the four-year terms of Board members and makes them replaceable at the will of those who appoint them.  This was not a problem when the Democrats controlled the Board and could pass any regulations they wanted, no matter how much they impacted local businesses (many of which have left the state due to the Democrats’ oppressive regulatory environment, coupled with Sacramento’s catering to the radical environmental lobby that controls many of the Democrats in the state legislature).  Suddenly, four-year Board terms are somehow distasteful to liberals.

While it is no surprise the lengths that Democrats will go to warp the system to get their way, it is surprising the speed at which they moved.  Apparently, running businesses out of the state (except of course all those “green” companies propped up by state and federal government subsidies), or out of business, must happen without interruption.

 

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Lake Forest Councilman Dwight Robinson Elected To The South Coast Air Quality Management District Position, Ousting Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido

Posted by Greg Woodard on November 6, 2015

In a coup for conservatives, the Republican party, and businesses throughout much of Southern California, Dwight Robinson defeated Miguel Pulido for the Orange County cities’ representative on the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) Board.  As reported by OCPolitical’s own Chris Nguyen earlier, having to win the majority vote of all Orange County mayors, both in the number of cities, and overall county population, Robinson garnered 21 cities and 54% of the County’s population, to Pulido’s 12 cities and 45% of the population.  Pulido was Orange County’s representative on the AQMD for over a decade.

Robinson’s victory is significant as it flips the AQMD Board from 7-6 Democrat to 7-6 Republican, which will have considerable impact for many Southern California businesses.

Of his victory, Robinson said, “I am very proud of the broad based support I had across the spectrum that helped secured the votes I needed.  I deeply care about air quality and the environment.  I drive an electric car.  I put solar panels on my house earlier this year.  Equally important to me are jobs and the regional economy.  Many of the things AQMD has been doing over the last decade have driven companies, jobs, and the middle class out of Southern California.  I am dedicated to making sure that AQMD balances sensible environmental stewardship with middle class job retention.”

The race was marred by infighting from Republicans and rumors of Pulido offering support to mayors and their cities in exchange for their votes.  The most curious (and in my opinion, disappointing) aspect was the battle that erupted between Irvine Councilman Jeff Lalloway and Mayor Steven Choi.  As reported here, Choi was unavailable for the vote so he originally designated Lalloway as his voting representative.  However, it was reported that Lalloway was planning on voting for Pulido, and Choi removed Lalloway and appointed Christina Shea to vote instead.  Shea voted for Robinson, giving a size able chunk of population to Robinson.  While Lalloway denied that he had made up his mind on who to vote for, his claim that the Orange County Republican party’s support for Robinson was a push by California Republican Party Jim Brulte to strong-arm local Republicans to vote lock-step with the party is curious given that the race pitted Robinson, a strong Republican conservative and pro-business candidate, against Pulido, an avowed liberal Democrat who recently admitted to six violations of the Political Reform Act.  Pulido also previously appointed his brother as a part-time consultant to the AQMD, a position that paid more than $35,000 per year.

Posted in Orange County | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Assemblyman Hagman: Let Each City Decide to Roast Marshmallows

Posted by Allen Wilson on May 16, 2013

Assemblyman Curt Hagman (R-Chino Hills, District 55) offers his two cents regarding the proposed fire pits ban at Los Angeles and Orange County beaches by the AQMD:

Beach bonfires have long been part of the California way of life. Roasting marshmallows, making smores, and spending quality time with family and friends next to an open fire have created countless memories for generations of Californians. But if a government agency gets its way, such experiences will be a thing of the past and the beaches will be deserted after 5 PM.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) recently unveiled a proposal to ban all beach fire pits/rings within Orange and Los Angeles counties. Such fire pits would cease to exist along our coastline. Ironically, I find it amusing that the agency that oversees development of California beaches, the Coastal Commission, sees the fire pits as a form of recreation and wants the rings to stay.

The AQMD says fire pits contribute to Southern California’s pollution and harm public health. The chairman of the District even went so far to compare the smoke from the bonfires to “carpet bombing” during the Vietnam War.  To compare beach bonfires to the horrors of war is simply ludicrous. Such a comparison is offensive and it is no wonder that thousands of people have risen up to oppose the fire pit ban.  Most reasonable people would know that the environmental impact of beach bonfires is miniscule compared to other sources of smoke.

To be fair, fire pits do raise some legitimate public safety and health issues. For example, some Newport Beach residents who live next to the beach have complained about exposure to wood smoke and floating embers that have drifted to their homes. But they knowingly bought a house next to a beach with fire rings already present.  The heart of the matter is local control. Let the Newport Beach city council and residents make the choice. Let the cities and counties decide on the beach fire pits as it concerns their economy, their neighborhoods, and their quality-of-life. If the top concern of Newport Beach’s residents is soot, then it can ban its fire pits if they so desire.

Meanwhile Huntington Beach, which generates $1 million in revenue from beach parking and the purchase of bonfire supplies, can decide to keep its pits in place to maintain tourism. Plus add in the indirect value of the public spending money in beach towns because of family events around the fire pits. To impose a sweeping ban that the AQMD proposes is an unwieldy and unfair one-size-fits-all solution. 

Many residents, including my Assembly colleagues who represent the area, support local control that would allow beach fire pits to continue to exist. I believe it is a sensible solution that can satisfy everyone. Equally important, local control helps keep government closest to the people.

The AQMD is a powerful agency with little public oversight. The regulations that the non-elected board members propose can have far-reaching impacts on our economy that are often little-noticed by the public – unless they touch something as popular as beach fire pits. Making the District more transparent is a topic for another day.

The Board of Directors of AQMD will vote on the fire pits ban in June. I hope the board heeds the voices of people who support local control. Until then, we must continue to make our voices heard by letting AQMD know how we feel. We cannot let a small minority of extreme environmentalists and NIMBY activists take away a special part of California’s culture.

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Assemblyman Travis Allen – Bonfire Rally in Support of Our Fire Rings

Posted by OC Insider on April 25, 2013

 Link to Facebook Event: Click Here

Bonfire Invite-page-001 (2)

Posted in 72nd Assembly District, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Orange County, San Clemente, Seal Beach, Sunset Beach Sanitary District, Surfside Colony Community Services District | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »