Apparently there’s environmentalists and ENVIRONMENTALISTS.  And also apparent is the fact that these two groups don’t always get along.

Their most recent altercation took place in California, where ENVIRONMENTAL activists defeated the environmentalist bureaucrats.  The battle started with Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 which commissioned the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to regulate greenhouse gases (GHGs).

After asking for public comments, the ARB put together a robust environmental plan including rules to “curb the carbon intensity of gasoline production and distribution, slash motor-vehicle emissions and control potent greenhouse gases such as refrigerants” in addition to implementing a cap-and-trade program – a measure supported by environmentalist groups such as the Environmental Defense Fund and the Nature Conservancy – for 600 industrial plants. (Los Angeles Times)

But these actions aren’t good enough for true ENVIRONMENTALISTS.  Led by the Association of Irritated Residents,  activists claimed that the ARB had disgraced the environmentalist cause – the proposed regulations were too few and too far between.  One complaint stated that the ARB only mandated “the minimum amount of reductions required to achieve the goal [of reductions to the 1990 levels], not the maximum reductions.”  The ENVIRONMENTALISTS also protested that the agricultural sector’s direct emissions would not regulated closely enough.

These complaints made it before the Superior Court of California, and on March 18, Judge Ernest Goldsmith sided with the ENVIRONMENTALISTS and ordered the ARB to go back to the drawing board.  The ARB plans to appeal the ruling.

Although the ruling itself is problematic, the more troublesome element of this internecine war is the extent to which some groups are bent on regulation.  Even when presented with an environmental program that promises to significantly limit emission (while purportedly not completely retarding the economy), ENVIRONMENTAL activists put on their blinders to all unintended consequences and demand more and more regulations.

These ENVIRONMENTALISTS have already created an unfriendly business environment in California.  Considering the size of the state’s debt, it’s not something the state can afford.  But neither can the country afford an anti-business environment, so let’s hope these ENVIRONMENTALISTS stay in California.

Click here to see Washington Legal Foundation’s latest publications on environmental overregulation.

Click here to see Washington Legal Foundation’s latest litigation on environmental overregulation.