California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger won the appreciation of environmentalists last week as he signed into law more than two dozen pro-environment bills.
The measures will (take a deep breath) allow drivers of hybrids (hybrid cars for the non aware!) getting at least 45 miles per gallon to go solo in highway carpool lanes, require that all cars built since 1976 get emissions checks from now on, establish the Sierra Nevada Conservancy to protect the beloved mountain range, create a cabinet-level Ocean Protection Council, prohibit dumping of so-called “gray water” from sinks and showers by cruise ships, limit bottom trawling along the coast, raise money to replace old buses with cleaner ones, and allow regional air districts to raise vehicle registration fees to fight diesel soot.
Many of the bills were opposed by powerful interests; in particular, Schwarzenegger gave the stiff arm to Ford CEO Bill Ford and Tonight Show host Jay Leno, who lobbied against the carpool-lane and emission-testing bills vociferously. Way to go muscle man!