Greens like the Terminator, despite Humvees |

Greens like the Terminator, despite Humvees

Allen Best

SACREMENTO, Calif. Environmentalists say they are pleasantly surprised with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Although they didn’t support him during last year’s recall campaign, a growing number of California environmental leaders say Schwarzenegger is apparently greener than they anticipated, reports the San Jose Mercury News.They still grumble about Schwarzenegger’s fleet of gas-guzzling Hummers – he still owns four of them (down from seven) and is retrofitting one to run on hydrogen. Meanwhile, on issues from coast protection to staff appointments, from air pollution to water supply, Schwarzenegger has taken actions that environmentalists cautiously cheer.”We didn’t really know him,” said Felicia Marcus, vice president of the Trust for Public Land in San Francisco. “We’re still in the honeymoon period, but now I think people feel there may well be a record of real accomplishment with this administration.”Reagan quick study at HeavenlyLAKE TAHOE, Calif. Ronald Reagan wasn’t known as a skier nor as one who cared deeply about the environment. But at Lake Tahoe he was.Reagan, then governor of California, went to Heavenly Valley in 1968 to meet with his counterpart from Nevada, Paul Laxalt. Reagan, then 57, took a ski lesson, and he had soon gone from snowplowing to launching off moguls.”He was extremely well-coordinated. I don’t think he fell once,” recalled Fred Corfee, then a general partner in the ski area, in an interview with the Tahoe Daily Tribune.By all accounts, Reagan was a playful governor on the ski slopes, throwing snow balls and in general enjoying himself. Over lunch, he talked with Laxalt, apparently about the deteriorating condition of Lake Tahoe, which is bisected by the California-Nevada border. “They had this phobia the lake would turn gray on their watch,” said Coe Swobe, a former Nevada state senator.The upshot was an interstate compact approved by both states, ratified by Congress, and signed by President Richard Nixon in1969 that created the intergovernmental mechanisms for protecting the lake’s prized clarity.

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