I respect the "green" (as in "environmental") initiatives which are emerging in Hermosa Beach and elsewhere in the Beach Cities. Frankly, I believe that private enterprise better serves the environment than local government telling individual citizens what they may purchase and how much land must be relegated to green space. Nevertheless, city leaders and like-minded voters, if they support such regulations, are entitled to endorse, enforce, and enable such policies.
Protecting the environment is a worthy cause, provided that we do no harm to ourselves or our economy. Going green without going into the red is the way to go.
I am more concerned when state and federal officials dictate environmental policy to our hurt, officials like Congressman Henry Waxman, who is running for reelection in the newly-drawn 33rd Congressional district, which includes the Beach Cities all the way to the Palos Verdes Peninsula. He has advanced an idealized agenda which contributes little yet damage so much more in an attempt to save the environment.
After 38 years in office, Congressman Henry Waxman has to his credit inane hearings into steroid abuse and banking fallouts (even though he twice supported the TARP bailouts). He also authored the federal version of Cap and Trade, also known as Waxman-Markey.
Waxman-Markey was so unpopular, even in Congress, that the bill barely passed by a 219-212 vote, then quickly died in the Senate. This disastrous piece of legislation would have expanded the powers and bureaucracies of the Environmental Protection Agency, one of the growing "Fourth Branches of Government" which remains nominally accountable to the federal government and interminably unfruitful in protecting the environment. Industries throughout the Great Lake states and the Northeast would have been forced to close down if Waxman-Markey passed, as the costs for purchasing carbon credits would have further diminished their profit margin. An average of 2 million jobs would have been lost, and at the time (2009), the country was in the deeper grips of the Great Recession.
During the mark-up of Waxman-Markey, Congressman Waxman admitted in open committee that he did not know what was in his own bill! He failed to gather any support from the opposition, and even a significant minority in his own party voted against the measure. Imagine the job growth that would have followed had Waxman, Markey, and the rest of their caucus had spent more time attacking corporate welfare and tax subsidies for large firms instead of pursuing abortive Cap and Trade, a bill which even Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia pledged to filibuster before his election.
To this day, Waxman stands by multi-million dollar, taxpayer-funded loan guarantees for failing green tech companies, like Solyndra, yet demagogues the Koch brothers as the prime-evil force behind the XL Keystone Pipeline, an extensive project which would create jobs, increase our country's energy independence, yet minimize health and environmental hazards.
Henry Waxman has demonstrated neither the comity nor the respect to advance legislation which protects the environment without harming his constituents or this nation's economy. The Beach Cities deserve a legislator who understands the care needed to maintain a sustainable economy without harming the environment or private enterprise. Manhattan Beach resident and Independent Congressional candidate Bill Bloomfield respects this country's need for energy independence and sustainability, yet he has no interest in grinding Congress into further gridlock and further bankrupting this country in the process.
It's time for the Beach Cities to tell Congress to save our green—both in our backyards and in our back pockets. End the 38-year tenure of Congressman Henry Waxman and elect Bill Bloomfield for the 33rd Congressional District.