Investigation-Infrastructure

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...

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...

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 ...

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 ...

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