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Cal. Officials Call to Switch Authority Over Emissions Cap Mandate

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

Lawmakers are calling for changes to the agency in charge of implementing a landmark bill to limit greenhouse gas emissions. That's in the wake of allegations that Governor Schwarzenegger's staffers have been blocking progress.   From Sacramento, Marianne Russ reports.

Former Air Resources Board Executive Officer Catherine Witherspoon says she resigned her post this week after governor's staffers blocked progress on curbing global warming --- and Schwarzenegger fired the Board's Chairman.

Witherspoon : For the past year the pressure has been relentless and it's all run one way. Slow down, do less, go easier on industry.

Witherspoon testified at a hearing called by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez. He says though Air Resource Board members are governor's appointees, they should have set terms. Right now they can be fired at will.

Former California EPA Undersecretary Dan Skopec says the allegations of meddling are untrue.

Skopec : I think the characterizations that were made probably deserve to be in the fiction section of any bookstore.

Schwarzenegger has appointed Democrat Mary Nichols to replace the ousted Chair.

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