Investigation-Investigation

Expert says drought did not cause Napa quake

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
annual rainfall lost to drought

  Natural disasters predictably bring up speculation about causes. On radio shows, callers have been wondering whether the ongoing drought or fracking caused the 6.0 Richter scale South Napa Earthquake on Aug. 24. It's true that, just before the quake, scientists reported that a loss ...

Covered CA premiums set to spike

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014
Dave Jones - wikimedia

  For some time, Obamacare critics have warned that health insurance premiums would skyrocket once the Affordable Care Act went into effect. Now they say the leap in premiums, as calculated by state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, is just the beginning of hefty annual hikes in the year...

Switch to almond farming hits water policy

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
almond crops California, U.C. Davis

  Got almonds? California rice farmers are shifting to growing higher-priced almonds, whose acreage jumped by more than 50 percent last year, to offset the high price of water during the drought. But there will be many unforeseen consequences, especially as rice harvests decline. Alt...

Summary details high-speed rail problems

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
high-speed rail front page

  As construction is going forward, now would be a good time to clear the air a little and summarize California’s high-speed rail project. And why not with a little humor? This month the Santa Clarita Valley Signal published a tongue-in-cheek editorial on the project. It referenced th...

Can CA be 100% clean energy by 2050?

Monday, August 4th, 2014

  Can California be oil-free by 2050, just 36 years from now? Yes, according to Mark Jacobson of Stanford’s Precourt Institute for Energy. He says California can be oil free by 2050 with a quadruple redundant energy system of thousands of wind turbines, millions of solar panel arrays a...

Bill would mandate employee poverty data

Friday, August 1st, 2014
Jimmy Gomez

A bill making its way through the state Legislature seeks to publicly “shame” California businesses that employ a large number of workers who also receive public assistance benefits. That’s the warning from the California Chamber of Commerce in a press release headlined “CalChamber, Sta...

Fresno votes against high-speed rail project

Friday, August 1st, 2014

  In a surprise this week, the Fresno County Supervisors’ voted, 3-2, to officially oppose California’s high-speed rail project. That reversed seven years of actively supporting the project. No one expects Fresno’s actions will stop the project. But the vote delivers a strong messa...

Does anyone cover the news in Sacramento?

Thursday, July 31st, 2014
pew

California is perhaps the most significant state in the union both culturally and economically. One in every eight Americans lives here. In 2012, California’s GDP was $1.9 trillion — roughly the same size as that of Italy and Russia.  If we were a nation, we’d consistently be in the top-10 l...

Consumer Watchdog criticized for ‘misleading’ report

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
fact check title

The shoe's on the other foot for Consumer Watchdog (no connection to CalWatchdog.com). Routinely critical of state regulators for failing to protect consumers, the consumer advocacy group has been criticized by an independent oversight panel for presenting "incorrect" and "misleading" informa...

Geothermal mandate could drive up energy costs

Monday, July 28th, 2014
Geysers geothermal power plant, wikimedia

  California residents and businesses could be paying an extra $400 million annually for electricity if a geothermal energy mandate bill making its way through the Legislature becomes law. Senate Bill 1139, by Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, would require non-publicly-owned utilities to purc...

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