Investigation

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...

Will CA groundwater regulation bring shortages?

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014
climate nexus

  One area of California that largely has remained free of regulation is groundwater. Although state courts "adjudicate" groundwater rights and disputes, this longstanding system largely respects the private ownership of the water. Even the federal government mostly works within this state ...

FTB spends 5 years, fails to collect $392

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014
Franchise Tax Board

  California’s Franchise Tax Board spent thousands of dollars over five years in the futile pursuit of a Redondo Beach septuagenarian for $392. For more than half of that time, FTB staff lost the taxpayer's records and didn’t inform him of it. Willard Christine appealed the FTB’s ta...

High-speed rail goes for second segment

Friday, July 11th, 2014
NEW: High-speed rail goes for second segment

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is floating a new idea: Start a second high-speed rail segment, but this time fund it using cap-and-trade dollars. The project would stretch from Burbank to Palmdale in the northeast section of the Los Angeles basin. The money would come from the cap-and-t...

Feinstein backfills some water for Central California  

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Sen. Dianne Feinstein is coming through with her promise to backfill Central Valley farmers water they lost as part of her San Joaquin River Restoration Act of 2009. Replacement farm water should have been provided before any diversions of farm water for fish runs depleted backup water storage fo...

Mileage tax advances in Legislature

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014
google car, beeler, cagle, July 8, 2014

  California drivers could be just a few years away from having “black boxes” in their cars tracking their travel and taxing them for every mile driven. Senate Bill 1077 is by Assemblyman Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, and would require a mileage tax pilot program to start up by 2016. It...

Independence Day from foreign energy?

Friday, July 4th, 2014
fracking wells 2

As today we celebrate America's independence from Great Britain, it might also be time to celebrate our independence from foreign energy. Alas, California isn't playing its part. During the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo and the 1979 Iranian Revolution, there were long lines of cars at California service ...

CA hydropower advances

Friday, June 20th, 2014

  To service California's electricity market, hydropower finally is advancing. Currently, California needs to import cheap, water-based electricity hydropower from nearby states to bail out its power grid when solar power fades out at the sunset hours of each day. So it's good news the F...