Out with the Carrot - In with the Stick

  • Posted on: 7 January 2017
  • By: Editor

Cash incentives or more regulation and enforcement? The Orange County Register (Jan 3, 2017) reports that changes are coming to the Air Board for Southern California. Republicans lost control of the South Coast Air Quality Management District board when Shelia Kuehl, an outspoken liberal democrat, was sworn in last week. Supervisor Kuehl of Santa Monica will serve as Los Angeles County's representative, replacing conservative Republican Michael Antonovich, who served on the air board since 1988, and has termed out of office. On December 26, Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit, a Republican, died of pancreatic cancer, leaving another opening on the Board. He was well respected in his service by all accounts. Riverside County supervisors will pick his successor. In early 2016, the air district shifted toward a more business-friendly approach when Republicans, having a one-vote majority, voted 7-6 along party lines to fire the air district's 19-year executive officer, Barry Wallerstein over objections from public health and clean-air advocates, and replace him with conservative Wayne Nastri. Mr. Nastri has proposed a 15-year air cleanup plan that emphasizes cash incentives for polluters to reduce emissions. Sheila Kuehl, 75, will now have a say on the plan, and as a former state legislator she has been critical of the board's shift to the right. Ms. Kuehl has had an interesting life, including the role as Zelda Gilroy of “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, but if you look her up on about any website, be prepared for a detailed description of her sexual history that is longer than anyone, gay or straight, could possibly give a shit about.  Some of the board's Democrats voted last year for an industry-backed plan to cut factory emissions of smog-forming nitrogen oxides by 12 tons a day by 2022. (Original Report from Orange County Register - Jan. 3, 2017) (Photo on the left is not from the original article. We did that)