Infrastructure

Hydropower AB 32 scam as bad as one L.A. Times detailed

Monday, October 27th, 2014
green.fraud

The Los Angeles Times had a good analysis over the weekend of how AB 32 is being gamed in ways that make suspect its claims to be cleaning up the environment. California's pioneering climate-change law has a long reach, but that doesn't mean all its mandates will help stave off global warming. To ...

Are benefits of Prop 1 being oversold?

Saturday, October 25th, 2014
ws_infographics_outdoor

Proposition 1 -- a $7.1 billion state bond to pay for a variety of water projects -- was billed as a huge improvement over bloated past proposed water bonds when it emerged from the Legislature this summer. Now Gov. Jerry Brown's political warchest and Sean Parker of Facebook and Napster fame are fu...

Ruling that CA high court upheld hardly favorable to bullet train

Friday, October 17th, 2014

I talked to a couple of insider types Thursday who asked me to explain my take on Wednesday's California Supreme Court announcement on the bullet train. After all that's gone down, they couldn't believe that the justices would clear the way for the state to begin selling bonds for the $68 billion bo...

Japan’s 50th bullet train anniversary: What it says about CA

Monday, October 6th, 2014
shin

Oct. 1 marked the 50th anniversary of the beginning of commercial operations for Japan's bullet train system. The Shinkansen is by far the most successful bullet train network in the world. The British press and just about no one else outside of Japan thinks this is a big deal. Of course it is a big...

Wall Street Journal too nervous about bullet-train ruling

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal's editorial page continued its excellent coverage of California issues with an editorial (behind pay wall) about the July 31st appellate court ruling that overturned a trial court ruling essentially blocking concrete steps toward the construction of the stat...

Feds abdicate on own rules for CA bullet train $

Thursday, August 14th, 2014
mercy.bake

The Obama administration has given the state $3.5 billion in funds for its bullet train project. But the 2009 stimulus funds that were the source of most of the federal bequest came with lots of strings attached, as is common with federal grants. Those rules were formally published in the Federal...

Water bond deal reached

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Writing Wednesday afternoon, a deal just was reached among Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic and Republican leaders in the Legislature on a water bond for the November ballot, costing $7.5 billion. It would replace Proposition 43, the $11.1 billion bond currently in place. The Bee reported: Negot...

Groundwater takeover would prove costly

Monday, August 11th, 2014

In 2010, I did some freelance work for Susan Trager, one of California's top water lawyers. Unfortunately she died in 2011. Even though I had been writing about California since 1987 and had a general idea of state water policy, until I worked for Susan I had no idea how complex, developed and ev...

High-speed rail without federal money?

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

Last week Gov. Jerry Brown said he would continue building the high-speed rail project without federal money. It's commendable he doesn't want to burden U.S. taxpayers. But it's hard to see how the project can be built without federal money, which has funded every recent major mass-transit projec...

San Onofre decommissioning: $4.4 billion wasted

Monday, August 4th, 2014

According to the U-T, the decommissioning of the San Onofre nuclear powerplant will cost $4.4 billion. The money, of course, will be paid by ratepayers. It is owned mainly by Southern California Edison and SGD&E. Even if stockholders are hit with the bill, that only would cut the stock prices...