The Schwarzenegger administration unveiled a "Vision California" report today that urged the state to wean itself from sprawling residential patterns and auto-dependent transportation, that appears aimed at countering a newly qualified ballot measure.
The measure, sponsored by a coalition of oil companies and conservative groups, would suspend implementation of Assembly Bill 32, the 2006 legislation that requires California to lower its use of carbon-based fuels and thus reduce greenhouse gas emissions, until the state's unemployment rate drops dramatically. The jobless rate, now over 12 percent, would have to fall consistently to 5.5 percent if the measure is approved by voters.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has denounced the November ballot measure and vowed to defeat it at the polls. His administration's new report contends that California must cope with its ever-rising population by shifting to denser, transit-oriented development patterns and says that doing so will dramatically lower the cost of living in the state, citing both AB 32 and Senate Bill 375, another new law aimed at implementing higher-density development patterns.
The push-back document is a joint project of Schwarzenegger's Strategic Growth Council, an interagency coordinating group, and the High-Speed Rail Commission, which is planning a bullet train link between Southern and Northern California.
"Vision California is an unprecedented effort to explore the role of land use and transportation investments in meeting the environmental, fiscal and public health challenges facing California over the coming decades," the document declares, adding, "By clearly expressing the consequences of different scenarios, Vision California can inform the policy and programmatic decisions that will drive California's infrastructure investments."
The full report can be found here.