Former state Assemblyman and Democrat John Laird will be officially named our state’s Natural Resources Secretary later today, as first reported here on Friday.
It comes as Tom McClintock has been named chairman of the Water and Power Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee.
Their philosophies are as different as “night and day” — a political version of the “Patty Duke show” without the physical resemblance.
Both, however, will influence the policies here in our district. I’m hoping for a collaborative relationship, though the McClintock people are better known for their “in your face,” “my way or the highway” approach.
Though Tom still doesn’t live in our district (his home remains Elk Grove), he is “gung ho” to reopen the Idaho-Maryland Mine and build the Auburn Dam — a pet project of predecessor John Doolittle. Emgold touts Tom’s support for the mine.
Laird is a Democrat, but his approach is more moderate. He’s best known for spearheading the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and significantly expanding water conservation. He’s also been a leading voice for sustainable building. The conservancy has offices are in Auburn.
In the past, the Agency has been criticized for “behaving as if resource protection exists outside of job creation, economic development or community stabilization,” as one reader said.
I am confident Laird will not fall into that trap.
On the other hand, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that McClintock can work more collaboratively than in the past.
The stakes are high for our district, whose natural resources are among the most coveted in all of California.
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