Infrastructure

New appeal seeks to halt bullet train

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

A new legal move has ratcheted up the legal battle around California's $68 billion high-speed rail project. In a controversial decision late this July, the California Court of Appeal for the Third District brushed aside claims that ballot wording and voters' intent carried legal weight that...

Sacramento hits the gas on driving taxes

Friday, September 12th, 2014
state Gas Taxes Apr 2014

Within a few years, California may choose to tax drivers by the mile. Taking up a controversial idea floated by the federal government and embraced by Oregon, Sacramento legislators recently passed a bill that could lead to a new "road usage charge." Senate Bill 1077 wouldn't impose a driving ta...

Sacramento unplugs Brown battery plan

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
battery matrix

  At its Sept. 4 meeting, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District deferred deploying batteries along its electric grid in compliance with Assembly Bill 2514 of 2010. The reason: energy storage was not economically feasible. (See p. 93 and p. 143 of the Board Agenda) The action was a ...

Water deal turnoff helped parch L.A.

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
Cadiz Water sign

Los Angeles sure could use extra water right now. But in 2002 the water-locked city forfeited a Golden State opportunity to buy drought-relief water from the Cadiz Inc. water company, mainly due to political pressure from environmental organizations.  Other more nimble public water agencies...

In fighting drought, San Antonio leaves L.A. in the dust

Friday, September 5th, 2014
TexasDrought

  Could cities such as drought-vulnerable Los Angeles come to regret that a “privatization” provision in the old $11.1 billion state water bond was removed? Back in 2009, there was an outcry against language in the original version of a proposed state water bond that would have allowe...

CA high court asked to review bullet-train ruling

Thursday, September 4th, 2014
Kings County

Arguing that an appellate court ruling endangers the public’s faith in future bond initiatives,  the attorneys for the Tos/Fukuda/Kings County group challenging the state's bullet-train plans on Tuesday asked the California Supreme Court to review the recent decision reversing trial-court rulings...

After gamble backfires, L.A. demands refund from banks

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
interest-rate-swaps-7

  In the San Francisco Bay area, public transit riders are paying $104 million in higher rider fees to cover the cost of exotic financial insurance known as an interest rate swap. In Detroit, the inability of the city to make interest rate swap payments signaled eventual bankruptcy. So the r...

Landmark water bond now faces voters

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

As August draws to a close, the state has seen a striking instance of successful high-level bipartisan wrangling. Sacramento secured a massive water bond package, putting $7.5 billion in bonds on the ballot as Proposition 1. Although legislators, and Gov. Jerry Brown, are all claiming victory, que...

Fed bills could be key to CA water storage

Thursday, August 21st, 2014
David Valadao,_official_portrait,_113th_Congress

There was a lot of hoopla last week over the California Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown putting a bipartisan water bond on the Nov. 4 ballot that, for the first time in nearly 50 years, actually includes storage. Proposition 1 would spend $7.5 billion, including $2.7 billion on storage. However...

Prop. 1 bond funds non-water bureaucracy

Monday, August 18th, 2014
ocean protection council

  Proposition 1, the new $7.5 billion water bond just passed by the Legislature, contains water storage in an statewide bond for the first time since 1965. It will go before voters on Nov. 4. The previous 21 water bonds since 1971 contained no water storage. But $297.5 million of the new ...