Investigation-Infrastructure

Tiered pricing ends up subsidizing solar panels for the rich

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
Tiered electricity pricing

  In a new development for energy conservation, it turns out charging more for electricity, the more juice is used, could be bad for the environment. This "tiered pricing" is also called Increasing Block Pricing. IBP is pushing some homeowners into installing uneconomic rooftop solar pan...

Do tiered water rates save water?

Friday, October 10th, 2014

  It must sound crazy in the middle of an epic California drought to say empirical studies show raising water rates to spur water conservation is not likely to result in water conservation. But a study by CalWatchdog.com of comparable water rates in Orange County indicates tiered water ra...

Water subsidies are ‘ancient history’

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

This is Part 4 of a series.  Prior articles in this series showed there are no real water subsidies. But if there are no real water subsidies to farmers from taxpayers, what about all those crop subsidies? According to Mark Borba, owner of Borba Farms in Monterey County, “The days of...

Fact-checking water price subsidies

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
David Zetland

This is Part 3 of a series. Part 1 was on how drought-water pricing violates Proposition 218’s ban on tax increases without a vote of the people. Part 2 was on fact-checking water pricing. Water subsidies are the focus of much controversy in California, with farmers commonly bearing much ...

Fact-checking drought-water pricing

Monday, September 22nd, 2014
Drought, Sept. 16, 2014

  This is Part 2 of a series. Part 1 was on how drought-water pricing violates Proposition 218's ban on tax increases without a vote of the people. What is good water pricing during a drought? Let's look at some situations. 1. Voluntary conservation A good place to start is the continu...

Does drought pricing violate state law?

Saturday, September 20th, 2014
water meter - wikimedia

This is Part 1 of a series. Calls now are going out to raise water prices even higher to spur conservation. Instead of fining people for watering their lawns, numerous economists are recommending just tacking a punitive surcharge onto water rates until use drops. But there's a problem ...

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...

How accurate are high-speed rail jobs reports?

Thursday, September 4th, 2014
high-speed rail jobs

  How many jobs is the California high-speed rail project creating? As California’s unemployment rate remains above the national number, it’s a crucial question. The California High-Speed Rail  Authority has numbers of jobs created as of April. As reported by McClatchy, the CHSRA say...

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 ...

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...

Investigation Archive

Archive By Categories
  • Budget and Finance
  • Education
  • Infrastructure
  • Inside Government
  • Politics and Elections
  • Regulations
  • Rights and Liberties
  • Waste, Fraud and Abuse