Skip to comments.CA: Show him the door - Overreaching by coastal panel's Peter Douglas should lead to ouster
Posted on 05/17/2009 9:02:15 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
The welcome final approval by the San Diego regional water board may not be the last hurdle that the proposed Carlsbad desalination plant must clear. Peter Douglas, executive director of the California Coastal Commission, wants one last stab at killing the project.
It is not enough for the commissioners to restrain Douglas. They must replace him with an executive director who abides by the limits of his authority and honors the commissioners' decisions instead of undermining them.
Poseidon's desalination plant, essential to San Diego's water future, is hardly the first project Douglas has assailed. It is, however, a prime example of his frequent overreaching and sly tactics.
Unable to stop the plant outright, he has delayed it inordinately in any possible way. He has forced Poseidon either to pay for studies done on his staff's behalf or wait years more for a permit. He has injected himself into the deliberations of other regulatory boards whose decisions he disliked. He has lobbied their staffs to dissuade their boards from approving the plant all after the Coastal Commission overruled Douglas' recommendation not to approve it.
Yet the desalination project survives, forcing Douglas' last-ditch effort to derail it on grounds already discredited: that Poseidon amend its coastal permit to increase its wetlands restoration because of an error corrected last year. That demand could not only push the limits of the project's affordability. Further delay could give sympathetic politicians time to appoint new commissioners of like mind to imperil the plant.
Unfortunately, Douglas retains the support of some commissioners despite a rebuke from the highest court in the land for interpreting the coastal protection law too expansively. He can count on environmental zealots thronging commission meetings to protest projects despite their wide public support. Over more than 30 years on the commission staff, 24 as executive director, he has successfully counted on friendly politicians to keep him in his post.
Any other panel formed to conduct the public's business would have long ago replaced an executive director who arrogated to himself the powers over decision-makers and residents that Douglas arrogates to himself. The California Coastal Commission should replace him, now.
Douglas’ salary is well-over $100K a year. And in a position like this it’s probably well past time for an audit as I’m sure the payoffs have been steaming along for quite some time.
Watching enviro-whackos club each like baby harp seals over two sides of an envrironmental issue: Priceless.
I say get rid of the Coastal Commission. If preservation is so important to the taxpayers, let them pay for it themselves instead of free-riding on the property owners.
Just another example of how broken California is. Water is the most precious resource in the state, and they still can’t bring themselves to help solve the problem. Liberal “problem solving...”
Obviously, a brilliant, thoughtful, all-knowing, wonderful, compassionate individual who loves the earth, the environment, little fishes and big polar bears.
But, it might very well be that he hates people.
The CCC is a longstanding example of government destruction of private property rights.
Peter M. Douglas, Executive Director
Mr. Douglas is the third executive director in the Commissions history. He was appointed in July 1985 after having served as Chief Deputy Director since 1977. Mr. Douglas co-authored Proposition 20 (The California Coastal Zone Conservation Act of 1972), a successful citizens initiative that established the California Coastal Commission. As a consultant to the Legislature, he was a principal author of the 1976 Coastal Act that made permanent Californias coastal management program. He also participated in drafting the first regulations implementing the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972.
Born in Berlin, Germany, Mr. Douglas immigrated to the United States in 1950. He earned a law degree from UCLA in 1969, with an undergraduate degree in psychology. Mr. Douglas has been a guest lecturer, presented University of California extension programs, written numerous articles dealing with coastal management, land rights, and environmental stewardship. He has provided technical assistance on coastal management issues to other countries and serves on the China-U.S. panel on integrated coastal management. He is a member of the first NOAA Science Advisory Board and previously served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Science and Policy for the Coastal Ocean. A former local school board member, he also co-founded and chaired two successful non-profit community organizations. In 1984, he led a successful grassroots campaign to enact a special parcel tax to support public schools.
Mr. Douglas was the first recipient of the national Julius A. Stratton “Champion of the Coast” award for leadership in coastal management at Coastal Zone 95, an international, biennial symposium on coastal zone management.
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