Increasingly, professional advocacy groups opposed to residential and commercial development seek to advance their agendas through regional regulatory bodies, such as the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Metropolitan Transportation Commission and San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. Environmental issues are framed to justify new hurdles to or blanket prohibitions on new growth, no matter how carefully examined a project might be analyzed or crafted to minimize environmental impacts and advance widely shared environmental and economic goals. Since 2010, BMWL has been assembling stakeholder coalitions and developing and executing communications strategies to respond to and diffuse these threats. Key objectives have been protecting local authority over land uses and forcing policymakers to acknowledge the necessary role of private investment and innovation in meeting our biggest environmental challenges—from climate protection to habitat conservation and restoration. As a result of these efforts, regional regulatory bodies ended up turning away from unnecessarily restrictive, top-down, one-size-fits-all approaches in favor of merit-based, case-by-case review, controlled by local government.
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