California Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada lashed out against environmentalists who opposed an agreement between the two states over the governance of the basin surrounding scenic Lake Tahoe.
Environmentalists have criticized the agreement, fearing it will lead to more development, reports the Sacramento Bee.
“This is the same group that’s criticizing the Delta restoration plan, and a whole bunch of other things we’re doing,” Brown told reporters. “Trying to be absolutely perfect means you don’t get anything done.”
“It isn’t just what some Sierra Club chapter around Tahoe wants,” he added.
The Sierra Club and other environmentalists filed a lawsuit in court after California and Nevada agreed to continue their two-state partnership over the Tahoe region. The agreement was reached after Nevada passed a 2011 law which would have taken the state out of the partnership if California didn’t allow more development to go through.
“I tried to prevail upon them, and they didn’t listen to me,” Reid said, referring to his attempt to smooth things over with the group. “I’m right, they’re wrong.”
California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein also weighed in on the Sierra Club lawsuit, saying it was a “regrettable obstacle to progress in the region,” reports the Bee.
Also present at the Lake Tahoe Summit was former Vice President Al Gore, who praised the efforts between the two states as a necessary step in bringing the conversation on global warming above party lines.
“This started without partisanship. It started without ideology. It continues without regard to politics or ideology,” Gore said. “Because of that, I think you can help us find a way to win the conversation on global warming.”
However, environmentalists aren’t buying this and argue that California gave too many concessions to Nevada — which wants to see more development in the area.
“Imagine Lake Tahoe clouded by pollution, its scenic views obstructed by new tall buildings, with even more traffic caused by intensified development around the lake,” Laurel Ames, conservation co-chair of the Sierra Club’s Tahoe chapter. “This will happen under the new regional development plan. That is not the Lake Tahoe we want to leave for future generations.”
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