By Dan Shapley
Globe-trotting For Climate Change, But Criticized On Clean Air At Home
After the high-profile resignations of the two highest ranking air quality regulators in California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is facing a firestorm over an issue he had wrapped around his finger: Air pollution. Schwarzenegger had been featured on green-tinted magazine covers across the nation for his role as a Republican governor bucking the White House by enacting tough regulations to curb carbon dioxide pollution. He talked tough, he acted tough, and the actor's charisma took him the extra mile -- even so far as to have one of the last audiences with outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair. But at home, he's coming under fire for allegedly protecting construction companies -- major campaign donors -- from restrictive air quality regulations. Construction equipment, typically fueled by diesel but lacking many pollution controls -- has been a focus of clean air efforts, and even represents a rare facet of the White House environmental policy that environmentalists have praised. The controversy seems to have everything to do with the pace of change, and the degree to which business can adapt without suffering. When it comes to new environmental regulation, that can be a tricky balance, one that typically leaves no one completely satisfied.