CEQA must be reformed for all projects, not just UC Berkeley
Assemblyman Vince Fong
March 19, 2022
To help UC Berkeley keep its promise to incoming students, the Legislature fast-tracked the state’s environmental review process. Senate Bill 118, a bill that reduces CEQA obstacles for UC Berkeley, passed out of the Assembly with bipartisan support. Vice Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee Vince Fong (R-Kern County), issued the following statement:
“California has one of the best public higher education systems in the world. A costly lawsuit using CEQA threatens to prevent students from pursuing their education.
“This last minute bill to help UC Berkeley, however, highlights the fact that CEQA, a law created in 1970 – over half a century ago – to protect the environment, is dated and broken.
“In recent years, CEQA has been used – and abused – to stop projects that serve our community – from water projects to needed housing to critical highway safety projects.
“Often times, the reasons to stop the projects have nothing to do with the environment.
“In Kern County, highway safety improvement projects are delayed by CEQA. Housing projects from San Francisco to Los Angeles to the Central Valley are held up by lawsuits brought under CEQA.
“We are changing CEQA, and we can change CEQA again for other necessary projects.
“It is time to modernize CEQA for the betterment of California.”
Assemblyman Vince Fong represents the 34th Assembly District, encompassing most of Kern County including the communities of Bakersfield, Bear Valley Springs, China Lake, Frazier Park, Golden Hills, Inyokern, Lebec, Oildale, Ridgecrest, Taft and Tehachapi.