Nevadan alerts Californians



Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller, in a guest essay published by the Sacramento Bee, tried to respond to the belief of some Californians that “Nevada’s desire for more growth and California’s desire to protect the environment” are what are at issue at Lake Tahoe.

“The reality is that the different perspectives of the two states are considerably more nuanced, and deserve greater explanation and examination,” Miller wrote.

“We can no longer rely on big federal earmarks to restore any damage to Lake Tahoe. The only way that we are going to realize the environmental goals we seek is by tearing down the urban development of earlier decades, and rebuilding in an eco-friendly manner. Doing so will require broad-based cooperation between the public and private sectors, and a recognition that sustaining Lake Tahoe environmentally will require sustaining it economically as well. … But policies that are based in a 50-year-old mindset that growth and environment sustainability are incompatible are making it virtually impossible for even the most responsible developers to tear down the decaying developments that continue to damage the lake, and replace them with responsible development using state-of-the-art techniques and materials. To put it in a microcosm, we need to tear down the pollutant-dumping gas stations and strip malls of the 1960s and replace them with LEED-certified green projects.”

Miller said the voting structure of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is an obstacle to those kind of changes. Nevada’s secretary of state sits on the TRPA.