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Judge: County’s Climate Action Plan Is Inadequate

Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor has confirmed his tentative ruling that San Diego County’s plan to address climate change is inadequate.

Aired 4/19/13 on KPBS News.

A judge has issued a tentative ruling that San Diego County’s plan to address climate change is inadequate. The Climate Action Plan was approved by supervisors last summer but the Sierra Club says it has no teeth.

San Diego County Supervisors issued their Climate Action Plan last June to “address the issues of growth and climate change and to safeguard the environment for residents and visitors.“

The plan was required to mitigate the effects of new development in the unincorporated areas in the county’s General Plan as the population grows. Its goal is to do that by “achieving meaningful greenhouse gas reductions,” according to plan documents.

But the Sierra Club sued, saying the plan has no teeth: it sets goals but hardly mentions deadlines and contains no enforcement measures.

The plan describes itself as a “living document” and a platform for the county to “build strategies to meet its emissions reduction targets.“

A graphic from the county's Climate Action Plan

In its defense, the county counsel writes, “Experts in the field of climate change compiled, reviewed and refined the strategies" in the Climate Action Plan. “The record,” they write, “demonstrates the viability of those strategies.”

But in his ruling, Taylor noted that hundreds of thousands of San Diegans live in low-lying areas near the coast, susceptible to rising sea levels. There is no time, he writes, for “building strategies” or reaching goals though “education and incentives.”


Judge Taylor's Final Ruling

Judge Taylor's Final Ruling

You can download the entire ruling here.

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The judge notes this is the second case of its kind before the court in the last six months. He cites the case filed by the Cleveland National Forest Foundation against the regional transportation plan issued by San Diego's regional planning agency, SANDAG. That case is now on appeal.

San Diego County is now considering whether to appeal the ruling.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | April 18, 2013 at 4:23 p.m. ― 3 years, 11 months ago

I have made so many posts about SANDAG and the damage they are doing to our community, but the frustrating part is that nobody seems to care.

Wake up all people who are level-headed and who care about our city and research this group.

They are destroying our future.

They are making decisions now that will ensure we balloon into a hot-mess of poor transportation and concrete traffic nightmares that is LA.

Every time they put out a plan it gets handed back to them to re-do it by judges and state officials.

As far as I'm concerned, every last one of the maroons who works over there for this agency needs to be fired, and we need a new planning agency to be created from a blank slate.

I really don't understand why there is not more outrage about this planning agency SANDAG - they are seriously ruining San Diego's future in multiple ways and the public is letting them get away with it.

At least Judge Timothy Taylor cares about San Diego, thank you Judge Taylor for this ruling, but I'm not expecting much in reply from the uber-incompetent SANDAG!

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Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | April 21, 2013 at 9:52 a.m. ― 3 years, 11 months ago

Anytime I see the Sierra Club is involved, I cringe. They would be the last group I would want messing with my future. I'm sure there is a tree they would rather be hugging somewhere else. Let them live in their oil-free, natural gas-free, coal-free village as far away from San Diego as they can be. Oh, please make sure they walk there, so they can prove their true conviction. Oh wait, there have been many closings of public lands by the "Greens". Millions of acres are now "off limits". Thousands of miles of public park roads are closed. Better be a current map.
To get to their current location, their web site suggests we drive or use the transit system. Is this not what the are supposed to be against? I'm betting their offices have heat and air-conditioning. Hmmm, Isn't that special?? I wonder how many parking spaces they occupy on a daily basis?
If you visit their site, you are overwhelmed with ways to spend your money joining. To me, that just puts a new face on the meaning of "green" with these groups. You cannot access their info without paying up.
Well, enough of that. I have to go study my 112 page booklet published by the Fish and Game Department. I have taken up fishing because I cannot get to my favorite spot to metal detect due to road closures. Can you believe it takes 112 pages of regulations for a simple day of fishing. I don't know for sure, but I would guess that the "greenies" had something to do with that too.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | April 22, 2013 at 8:26 p.m. ― 3 years, 11 months ago

Muckapoo, you must really like LA.

Endless freeways, poor urban planning, clouds of smog.

Yeah, sounds "pleasant".

I prefer to keep San Diego clean, green, and smart in terms of transportation, and I would assume most San Diegans agree.

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Avatar for user 'mmxnick'

mmxnick | April 22, 2013 at 10:50 p.m. ― 3 years, 11 months ago

Peking, I agree with you. I'm tired of SANDAG continuously trying to kick the can down the road. They need to build a more practical mass transit system. If they build it the people will use it. The main reason I believe not as many people use it is because a it can take an hour from National city a to mission valley whereas in a car it can take you 15 min. SANDAG needs to fix this mass transit problem and build the trolley lines that we desperately need.

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Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | April 23, 2013 at 8:08 a.m. ― 3 years, 11 months ago

San Diego could get worst than L.A. if we keep stalling all efforts to correct current transportation problems. As projects get stalled by the "greenies", traffic gets worse. When that happens>>slower traffic>>more carbons. It appears to me that SANDAG is making an effort. It is clowns like the Sierra Club that keep taking them to court to hold back progress. It is my opinion that the "greenies" like holding things up to worsen the situation. Makes them appear more important and that brings Follow the money. more membership money.
PS: when you join you get regular magazine>constructed of paper>made from trees>less to hug.

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