Push it forward

Republican state senators may not like it, but Attorney General Jerry Brown’s lawsuit to compel San Bernardino County to consider greenhouse gases in its new General Plan has borne good fruit.

A few weeks ago, Brown’s office announced the suit had been settled and the county had agreed, via a 30-month public process, to adopt a greenhouse-gas-emissions reduction plan. The plan mandates an inventory of all greenhouse-gas sources in the county, an inventory of emissions levels in 1990 and projected for 2020, and a target for discretionary reductions under the state’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act.

For their part, county officials seemed proud that they were adding greenhouse gasses to the list of impacts to be considered under the California Environmental Quality Act, the state’s signature environmental law. Now that county “will lead the way in the implementation strategies and steps to enhance our future and serve as a model for others,” said Gary C. Ovitt, vice chairman of the Board of Supervisors.

The state’s global-warming law is intentionally vague. The assumption was that its implementation details would be filled in over time. Brown saw a way to participate in that process. Indeed, fear of a lawsuit has already caused some local developers and land-use planners—such as those building the Placer Vineyards community near Roseville—to take pre-emptive action by adding global-warming considerations to their environmental review.

Huzzahs to Brown for pushing the climate-change issue to the forefront and demanding real change.