la metroEvery day I check the green tech news feeds and the biggest boldest headline today was titled, “US Lawmakers Formally Unveil Climate Change Bill.” I haven’t read it yet—I’ve been following the debate, and I’m fearful of what the bill will say. Overall, I tend to side with the Democrats on the environmental issues, but I find that the biggest hypocrites on such matters are in the Democratic caucus. Take Ted Kennedy and his opposition to wind farms in the waters off of Massachusetts. Heaven forbid a source of clean energy spoil his views from one of his family’s many estates (bought of course with old Joe Kennedy’s bootlegging money, dad’s sleazy pulling out of the stock market before the 1929 crash, and of course making bad B movies, but I digress!).

But what brought on the gag reflex was seeing a picture of Henry Waxman, Democratic representative from west LA, below this news headline. We’re talking about a man who for years opposed the LA Metro’s Red Line extension under Wilshire Boulevard to Santa Monica. His excuse: methane gas levels underground were too dangerous to justify building a subway. Code words: my constituents in wealthy enclaves such as Hancock Park don’t want it “impacting” their neighborhoods. Long story short: Waxman sponsored a bill that banned federal funds for the Red Line (aren’t we slamming some GOP governors right now for basically doing the same thing—refusing federal funds for local projects?).

I’m not sure what the big deal is. We’re happy to have immigrants mow our lawns and take care of our kids (while having precious little time for playing with their kids on their lawns), but let’s not make it easy for them to get to work.

Waxman’s opposition to the Red Line extension has had hideous results. Traffic on the west side of LA is AWFUL—I reminded about it today as my friend and I were stuck the 10 freeway after attending a meeting at UCLA. The air quality this afternoon was horrible—I can’t see the Century City skyscrapers from my backyard today. I cringe when I have to go the west side, thinking about the traffic; my west side cronies rarely make it to downtown or the west side for the same reason.

There is somewhat of a happy ending (no Waxman wasn't forced to pick up garbage on the I-405 shoulders!)—transportation officials and the City of LA strong-armed Waxman into lifting a ban, he agreed that if engineers could determine that digging under Wilshire would be safe, the engineers checked, and suddenly the bulldog decided that the technology has improved and all is good.

The tragedy about this example of misguided political posturing is that we’re stuck with out rails to the bay for years, traffic is still getting worse, our workers are less efficient, and the air isn’t getting better.

And I have to watch this man on the news shows crowing about this bill? I think Waxman’s mug shot should be shown on Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the Woooooooooooooooorld” segment . . .

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.