San Diego mayor leery of subsidizing stadium, sees political risk

Friday, January 16th, 2015

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer's call for another task force to consider how to build the Chargers a new stadium and keep the NFL team from fleeing to a newly plausible Los Angeles stadium prompted an are-you-kidding-me reaction from the team, which has sought a new stadium for a dozen years. Fa...

State in use-it-or-lose-it mode with $4B in bullet-train funds

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

The California bullet-train project -- stalled for years by legal fights over land acquisition and the state's business plan, uneven progress in planning and Gov. Jerry Brown's abrupt downsizing of the scale of the project in 2013 -- had its symbolic groundbreaking on Tuesday in Fresno. The 1,00...

CARB draws sharp fire on AB 32 — from the left

Monday, December 29th, 2014

David Roberts -- a journalist who has an easy command of energy issues that makes his NRDC-style environmentalism easier to take -- has written a sharp piece about AB 32. Roberts details what he calls an "avoidable mess" in the implementation of the law by the California Air Resources Boa...

No NFL in LA in 2015

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

I hope you're enjoying the final NFL games of the regular season today. No NFL team for Los Angeles this year -- and for next year. On Tuesday Commissioner Roger Goodell informed the 32 teams there will be no teams entirely intercepted by L.A. The following year, 2016, is a possibility. All t...

Budget fight shows unlikelihood of fed $ for bullet train

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Congress' most intense squabbles over the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending plan that passed Saturday weren't over the budget details. They were over plans to add provisions in the measure to modify existing laws, most notably language that would weaken some protections against a fresh round of Wall St...

High-speed rail incompatible with current tracks

Monday, December 15th, 2014

One reason the American South lost the Civil War was it had numerous incompatible railroad track systems, requiring supplies to be unloaded, then loaded again, for each different segment. By contrast, the Northern rail networks were more uniform, although not completely so. That's turning out to ...

Meet the Mother Jones staffer who thinks the bullet train is nuts

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

There are bullet-train apostates among California Democrats, starting with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, and bullet-train fans among state GOPers, starting with Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin. But by and large, the bullet-train debate in the Golden State is a partisan affair. This doesn't make much sens...

If CA can’t build bridge, what about bullet train through mountains?

Monday, December 8th, 2014

If the state of California can't build a bridge, how can it handle the huge technological and engineering challenge of building a bullet train through two mountain ranges laced with seismic faults? Such questions are inevitable after the latest Sacramento Bee report questioning progress on the s...

57% of CA infrastructure $ on mass transit? More, more, more!

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

In 2008, California enacted SB 375, the most important state law you never heard about. It was Senate leader Darrell Steinberg's bid for the sort of green reverence that Arnold Schwarzenegger enjoyed because of 2006's AB 32. SB 375 (Chapter 728, Statutes of 2008) directs the California Air Resource...

Good news: Lantern brings Internet to everybody

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014
NEW: Good news: Lantern brings Internet to everybody

Some good news. A new pocket-sized, solar-powered device, Lantern, brings the Internet to everybody -- including the poorest people who have no local Internet. Lantern brings down satellite signals to your computer or smart phone, then lets you communicate with the world. So people living in som...