See this story in the LA Times with details. I’ve read blog posts in support of this project claiming that the needs of people should be placed ahead of those of the environment. It’s a shortsighted argument–at what point does ignoring the environment eventually hurt people?
Our friend Alex Brant-Zawadzki sent us this message early this morning about his post on the OCWeekly’s Navel Gazing Blog.
Coastal Commission Denies 241 Permit
February 6, 2008 11:21 PM
The California Coastal Commission voted at 11:18 pm Wednesday night to deny a coastal permit to the Transportation Corridor Agencies. It will now be much more difficult for the TCA to construct the Foothill-South (241) toll road extension.
The vote was 8-2 in favor of denying certification.
VOTES BY COMMISSIONER:
Blank Ã¢â‚¬â€œ No
Burke Ã¢â‚¬â€œ YES
Clark Ã¢â‚¬â€œ NO
Kram Ã¢â‚¬â€œ YES
Neely Ã¢â‚¬â€œ NO
Reilly Ã¢â‚¬â€œ NO
Shallenberger Ã¢â‚¬â€œ NO
Wan Ã¢â‚¬â€œ NO
Kruer Ã¢â‚¬â€œ NO
(some voters were inaudible due to cheering)
Some Coastal Commissioners had very tough questions and very tough language for the TCA. Here are my favorite excerpts:
Commissioner SARA WAN, herself a scientist, was “appalled” at what she called the TCA’s “false science”. She even suggested the TCA’s management plan for the mouse was “not a management plan at all except perhaps as a plan to drive the Pacific pocket mouse into extinction.”
Commissioner MIKE REILLY cited the “limited value” of the TCA’s $100 Million offer, and declared that “there is no legal way for us to concur with certification of this project.”
The real kicker was STEVE BURKE who grilled the hell out of new TCA CEO Tom Margro. Citing TCA’s claims that the 241 would serve as an evacuation route in a nuclear disaster, Burke said, “I was led to understand [San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station's] operating license was contingent upon having an approved evacuation plan. Has the government declared their plan inadequate?”
MARGRO: No – but can I elaborate?
BURKE: No, thank you, you’ve answered the question.
Burke then cited the TCA’s threat that it could cost $70 Million to renew the lease for the state park.
BURKE: “Has the Navy ever denied the renewal of a lease of a state park?”
MARGRO: “I can’t answer that question.”
BURKE: “I believe the answer is no.”
Burke went on to cite law discussed in this blog HERE which would potentially allow for the lease to be renewed at less than $70 Million .
BURKE: “Doesn’t this mean there is a clear path for the lease to be renewed at a price other than $70 Million dollars?”
MARGRO: “It’s possible.”
BURKE: “Since Navy didn’t ask for $70 million dollars Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ Is it possible that they might ask for a dollar in 2021?”
MARGRO: “If they make findings.”
BURKE: “So really at best it’s a $30 Million dollar proposal”
MARGRO: “I would say it is a $100 million dollar proposal Ã¢â‚¬â€œ for state parks.”
BURKE: “Or a $30 Million dollar proposal?”
MARGRO: “Or $30 million Ã¢â‚¬â€œ which still benefits state parks.”
BURKE: “I have another question – Is there a price tag for a state park?
MARGRO: “Not that I’m aware of.”