Last week Governor Brown told assembled business leaders,

I’m sure when (Governor) Ronald Reagan in 1969 signed the Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), he didn’t know about all the mysteries of CEQA that people were going to have to  deal with for the next 45 years.

I thought the Governor might have been exaggerating, but it didn’t take long to stumble upon that chamber of mysteries:

The vanguard of environmental preservation in California is here: riots, urban improvement, competitive advantage, labor wars, and medicinal practices. Governor Reagan, Senator Peter Behr and Assemblyman Jack Knox would be horrified.

Governor Brown deserves credit for continuing to hammer this issue. Perhaps a fourth term as Governor will allow him to drain the swamp of litigation where CEQA abuse thrives.

The Governor has a glimpse of how this new world might look. In his otherwise trying campaign to build high-speed rail in California, he must take some small comfort that the “mysteries of CEQA” do not extend to that project, which is exempt from the California act according to a federal transportation agency.

Private firms that create new housing and jobs, and public agencies creating or updating public works should enjoy similar relief.