Rise & Opine: Rubio, Rubio, wherefore art thou, Michael Rubio?

Blast off
CEQA reform supporters and Democrats must be feeling a bit like Juliet in a Shakespeare tragedy, ever since Sen. Michael Rubio announced he was leaving the Senate to become a lobbyist at Chevron.

The move leaves Senate Democrats without a supermajority and leaves CEQA reformers without a moderate Democrat capable of bridging both extremes in the debate over modifying (or “updating” or “modernizing” or “gutting”) the California Environmental Quality Act.

EDITORIAL: Watchdog agency should scrub Rubio’s move

Last Wednesday, then state Sen. Michael Rubio of Shafter told The Bee’s editorial board that he soon would introduce legislation to reform the landmark California Environmental Quality Act.

Rubio, citing a bout with the flu, spoke via telephone instead of appearing in person with other CEQA reform supporters.

The first-term Democrat told of CEQA abuses that had stymied urban revitalization and green energy projects. He also defended his proposal to exempt projects from environmental review if they met standards established by other laws.