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Arnold Schwarzenegger on Environment

Republican CA Governor


1992: First civilian to purchase a Hummer

In 1992, he had become the first civilian to purchase a Hummer--a giant military vehicle--after persuading the US Army's supplier, General Motors, to sell him one for his personal use. Not only was the vehicle known as a gas guzzler, but Hummers emit three times more carbon dioxide than regular cars. It was hard to take a candidate seriously when he talked about the environment, knowing he drove such a polluter. After election, he announced that his Hummer would be converted to run on hydrogen.
Source: The Governator, by Ian Halperin, p.298 , Oct 12, 2010

Protect air & landscape: world's strictest emission rules

Nothing symbolized Arnold's new [2006 post-partisan] attitude more than the legislation that would be likely to define his legacy. In his first election campaign,, Arnold had promised an environmental agenda, vowing to protect California's "air, water, and landscape." In a state that valued its natural beauty, such commitments were not particularly unusual. Few paid attention to Arnold's promises.

But in the summer of 2006, Arnold and the Speaker of the House announced that they had agreed to introduce a new bill, the Global Warming Solutions Act, to cut greenhouse pollutants and other harmful emissions 25%, to 1990 levels, by 2020. The legislation also included some of the world's strictest emission standards, which angered Detroit.

California's strong stand soon prompted 12 other states to adopt their own vehicle emission standards, although the White House had already called California's standards illegal. [The EPA later provided a waiver].

Source: The Governator, by Ian Halperin, p.298-299 , Oct 12, 2010

$11B for water bonds to invest in future water flow

We here in this room made history with the most comprehensive water package in nearly half a century. We brought all the stakeholders together and we got it done.

And now we must work very hard so that we pass the $11 billion in water bonds that will be on the ballot this November. And Democrats and Republicans will have to travel up and down the state to educate the people of California why those bonds are so important.

Because some people say "how can we afford these bonds in the current economic climate?" I say, how can we not?

It is the law that you cannot build a school or that you cannot build a factory or that you cannot build an office building or a housing development without identifying first a source of water. Our economy cannot grow without water.

Now is exactly the time to invest in it, so that when Californians turn on that faucet there is safe and reliable and clean water coming out that tap and not just five years from now but 30, 40 and 50 years from now.

Source: California 2010 State of the State Address , Jan 6, 2010

Last year set record of 2014 wildfires burning at one time

Let me say something about the fires of 2008. At one point I got a phone call: We had 2014 fires burning all at the same time, the largest number on record. Imagine, 2000 plus fires. What a huge challenge. But every one of those fires was put out. And you know why? Because we have the best trained and the most selfless and the toughest firefighters in the nation. Let's give them a big hand.

Thirteen of whom lost their lives. They gave their lives for this state.

Source: 2009 State of the State Address , Jan 15, 2009

Improve our economy without impairing our environment

Q: You have stated that you are a friend of the environment. What does that mean?

A: I will be a passionate defender of California’s environment, providing real leadership to protect our precious land, air, and water. I believe that part of California’s greatness lies in its natural resources and beauty. It is an essential part of the California experience.

What we do in this state must improve our quality of life, and environmental damage runs counter to that. Even from an economic perspective, our environment must be protected. If we have beaches soiled by oil spills, tourists will not come to this state. If we log our forests irresponsibly, stream beds will be destroyed and our fishing industry will be damaged.

I believe we can improve our economy without impairing our environment, and will govern by this belief. I am assembling a team of environmental advisors that will elaborate on key issues in the coming weeks.

Source: 2003 Gubernatorial campaign website, JoinArnold.com , Aug 29, 2003

Override federal exemption of new air pollution sources

Breathing clean and healthy air is the right of all Californians, especially our children, whose health suffers disproportionately when our air is polluted.

California’s Clean Air Act was the model for the federal Clean Air Act and our state has always led the nation in clean air programs. As governor, I will examine the federal exemption of new sources of industrial air pollution from “new source review” and propose state regulations to ensure that new facilities do not worsen our air quality.

Source: 2003 Gubernatorial campaign website, JoinArnold.com , Aug 29, 2003

Promote watershed management to clean up bays and rivers

I will direct the State Water Resources Control Board to fully enforce all laws that protect our state’s drinking and recreational waters from pollution.

Our streams, rivers, lakes, and bays can be better protected by using watershed management. As Governor, I will direct Cal/EPA and the Resources Agency to fully implement their recent agreement to clean up California’s watersheds. These watersheds feed Lake Tahoe and Santa Monica Bay that are among California’s most precious natural gems.

Source: 2003 Gubernatorial campaign website, JoinArnold.com , Aug 29, 2003

Calls himself an environmentalist but drives a Humvee

Arnold also describes himself as an environmentalist, but no one did more to popularize the gas-guzzling Humvee as a car for ordinary civilians. When a reporter asked him last week to detail his environmental positions, he made do with “I will fight for the environment. Nothing to worry about.”
Source: Time magazine cover story , Aug 18, 2003

Supports grants for brownfields remediation.

Schwarzenegger adopted the Republican Main Street Partnership agenda item:

H.R. 2941 Brownfields Redevelopment Enhancement Act.
Republican Main Street Partnership Congresswomen Marge Roukema (NJ), Sue Kelly (NY), and Melissa Hart (PA) as well as Congressman Paul Gillmor (PA) have introduced legislation providing a new source of funding for improving former industrial sites. H.R. 2941 reauthorizes the Brownfields Remediation Grant Program as well as creating a new loan program for brownfields redevelopment. The pilot program encourages cities to tap private loans for civic improvements by using the federal grants as collateral. The bill allows for Community Development Block Grants to be used in industrial site clean up as well.

Source: Republican Main Street Partnership Legislative Agenda 02-RMSP2 on May 24, 2002

Make EPA into a Cabinet department.

Schwarzenegger adopted the Republican Main Street Partnership agenda item:

H.R. 2438/H.R. 2694 Department of Environmental Protection Act.
Republican Main Street Partnership members Sherwood Boehlert (NY) and Steve Horn (CA) each have introduced legislation that would elevate the position of Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to that of cabinet level. Initially, the EPA served as a regulatory agency, but as a result of numerous statutes enacted by Congress, the agency's jurisdiction has swelled. Each bill would redesignate the EPA as the Department of Environmental Protection. RMSP supports the efforts of Congressman Vern Ehlers to include a deputy administrator for science within the department.

Source: Republican Main Street Partnership Legislative Agenda 02-RMSP3 on May 24, 2002

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Page last updated: Oct 08, 2013