The presidential candidates did not adequately address environmental issues (with the possible exception of energy independence) in Iowa and New Hampshire. I wonder if this will change as they prepare for the California primary on Super Tuesday, February 5. (Read Grist's candidate fact sheets for the environmental perspectives of the presidential candidates.) Yesterday, Governor Schwarzenegger proposed severe funding cuts to parks and the environment - among other services - to balance the state budget.
The governor's proposal allocates $17.4 billion for state agencies that protect the environment, down from $1.76 billion this year. The departments also would get less money from bond funds: $5.55 billion in 2008-09 compared with $5.59 billion this year. The proposal also seeks emergency reductions in the current budget. San Francisco Chronicle, January 11, 2008
The governor also wants to close many of California's parks. Under his budget, 48 of the state's 280 parks would be affected: 43 parks would be temporarily shut down - among them nine in the Bay Area, including Portola Redwoods in San Mateo County, Tomales Bay in Marin and Candlestick Point in San Francisco; two parks would be partially closed; and the openings of three new parks would be delayed. San Francisco Chronicle, January 11, 2008