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Wall Street Journal Letters

Wednesday, July 30, 2008
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From The Wall Street Journal
July 30, 2008
Letters To The Editor

"Just Good Sense, Not Suburban War'

With gasoline at $4 a gallon, the dollar plunging, and foreign oil producers taking trillions from hard pressed Americans, one would think that cutting dangerous oil dependency was a no-brainer. Apparently not for Joel Kotkin, whose 'Jerry Brown's War on California Suburbs' (op-ed, July 19) complains about my efforts to ensure that California cities and counties comply with our first-in-the-nation energy and greenhouse gas laws. Mr. Kotkin mischaracterizes my efforts as a war on suburbs and paints an oddly cheerful picture of freeway living, including an assertion that our highways are not clogged by long commutes. Mr. Kotkin's vision of unending sprawl is better suited to the 1950s, when gasoline was 20 cents per gallon and California had 11 million, not 37 million residents.

We need a new energy policy. And, unlike the Bush administration, Californians are taking action and boldly pioneering low-carbon fuels, tight vehicle-emission standards, intelligent conservation and wise use of our precious natural resources.

No thoughtful person can really question the fact that we must grow smarter, with more efficient and less polluting transportation. Nor, in a time of escalating food prices, can we afford to wantonly plow over irreplaceable farmland. That is why I make no apologies for promoting efficient building standards, renewable energy, and communities that work for people and businesses, not just oil companies.

Edmund G. Brown Jr.
California Attorney General Sacramento, Calif.

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