(August 26, 2005) -- LBReport.com has learned that State Senator Alan Lowenthal (D., LB-SP), who in February introduced five bills regarding Harbor Air Quality he dubbed his "Harbor Area, Air Quality Investment Initiative, is quietly withholding most if not all of them -- including his key "no net increase in pollution bill" -- for possible action next year, focusing instead on talks with industry and the Schwarzenegger administration over his container fee legislation...which he has also withheld from advancing in the face of opposition from industry interests.
State Senator Lowenthal's "no net increase" bill -- which clean air advocates have indicated is among their highest priorities -- passed the State Senate earlier this year and was pending in the Assembly Transportation Committee when, at the Senator's request, it was withheld; a July 8 deadline for clearing Assembly policy committees was quietly allowed to pass. The bill is now a "two year bill" and could be revived in 2006...if the author wishes.
In 2004, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed legislation by then-Assemblyman Lowenthal to establish baselines for "no net increase" in Port-related air pollution (AB 2042). Earlier this year, now State Senator Lowenthal reintroduced his "no net increase" bill as part of a package of Port-related clean air measures...which included the container fee measure SB 760.
As reported on August 17 by LBReport.com, State Senator Lowenthal said he was withholding his container fee bill from advancing to hold talks with industry interests and the Schwarzenegger administration. Senator Lowenthal's office said in a written release at that time that it was "[e]ncouraged by recent talks with the goods movement industry and the Governor's office." It quoted State Senator Lowenthal as saying, "I am holding SB 760 in the Assembly now in the hope we can work something out with the Administration. I believe that I could move this bill to the Governor this year, however with the Governor's recent work on Goods Movement issues, I think a more collaborative proposal can be worked out, it will just take a few more months."
Like the no net increase bill, the container fee bill had already passed the State Senate and was pending in the Assembly...where it has been opposed by multiple "goods movement" related interests.
State Senator Lowenthal Halts Advance Of His Container Fee Bill For Clean Air, Security & Infrastructure -- Legislation Opposed By "Goods Movement" Interests -- Hoping To "Work Something Out" With Schwarzenegger Administration