High-speed rail lawsuits pit CA vs. USA

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014
train wreck

  Like the famous 1860s race to build a railroad across America to California, an epic battle is shaping up over the state’s high-speed rail project. Only this time it’s a legal contest of federal vs. state jurisdiction. It may eventually take the highest law in the land, the U.S. Supre...

Federal board pushes high-speed rail – a little

Monday, December 15th, 2014
surface transportation board

Two recent events are keeping California’s high-speed rail project rumbling forward – either to eventual construction or wasteful oblivion. The California High-Speed Rail Authority just announced it would break ground on the project on Jan. 6. The CHSRA is eager to get a stake in the ground a...

GOP lawmaker: fund schools with high-speed rail bonds

Monday, December 15th, 2014

A Republican lawmaker wants to turn money for California's high-speed rail project into funding for schools. Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, introduced Assembly Bill 6, which would cancel outstanding bond funds approved by Proposition 1A, a 2008 voter-approved initiative to fund the st...

Bay Delta Plan could wipe out farmland values

Friday, December 12th, 2014
bay delta conservation

  Along with the rains finally drenching California in recent days have come clouds over Gov. Jerry Brown’s Bay Delta Conservation Plan. Published on the website of state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, a new report by the California Debt Advisory Commission questions the BDCP’s financing with m...

Democrats push back against new GOP water bill

Thursday, December 11th, 2014
delta crossing

  In California, not all rainwater is equal. “Two different water years may have identical precipitation and runoff amounts, yet result in significantly different export amounts,” Eric Alvarez told; he’s the Public Information Officer for the Delta Stewardship Counci...

Federal drought bill dead in water until 2015

Friday, November 21st, 2014

  Better and wetter luck next year, California. On Thursday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., put the kibosh on passing a federal water bill dealing with California’s drought during the lame-duck session. She wrote in a statement: “Over the past several weeks I have been working clos...

Solar crash ramped up CA natural gas power

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014
renewables graph

  Yesterday a problem struck California's electricity system that wasn't supposed to happen until at least 2015. Freak low-lying clouds at about 3 p.m. cut temperatures to only 68 degrees in Los Angeles and 64 in San Francisco, about 6 degrees below normal, increasing demand for electrici...

Can Gov. Brown pluck federal $ for bullet train?

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014
Jerry Brown 1943

  Successful politicians never accept defeat. So it's not surprising -- but still a little startling -- that Gov. Jerry Brown is not dumping his high-speed rail project in the junk yard after the Nov. 4 victories of its Republican opponents. He just said Republicans were "going to join...

Gov. Brown faces high-speed rail hurdles

Monday, November 10th, 2014
Valadao letter

  Republicans’ triumph last week in the U.S. Congress already is rippling across the country. Does that bother Gov. Jerry Brown and his push for getting more federal funding for California’s high-speed rail project? So far, Congress allocated only $3.5 billion as part of President Obama...

Pension spikes crumbling CA roads

Friday, October 31st, 2014
Los Angeles traffic jam, wikimedia

From roads to bridges and well beyond, California's neglected infrastructure won't receive relief this election cycle. For years, the state has lavished money on other projects -- especially public pensions. Despite a flurry of bad press surrounding the crushing burdens those pensions place on...