Investigation-Infrastructure

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 ...

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...

CA utilities outfoxing Cap and Trade law

Thursday, June 5th, 2014
Spy vs. spy logo, wikimedia

  This is Part 2 of a two-part series on Cap and Trade. Part 1 is here. Recent news about California’s cap-and-trade emissions program is like reading a Spy vs. Spy comic strip in an old Mad Magazine, where spies try to outfox each other with booby traps. There is a paper war going o...

Study: Green power worst way to cut CO2

Monday, June 2nd, 2014
cap n crunch

  This is Part 1 of a two-part series. Most people probably know more about Cap'n Crunch cereal than about California’s complicated cap-and-trade air emissions regulation program.  But according to a new study, perhaps Cap'n Crunch would be a better name for cap and trade, which "crun...

Appellate court seems to OK high-speed rail

Thursday, May 29th, 2014
Appellate court seems to OK high-speed rail

This is Part 1 of a two-part series. Is a green light ahead for California’s high-speed rail project? In a crucial hearing on May 23 before the Third District Court of Appeal, questions asked by the justices seemed to lean toward a reversal of a lower-court decision on March 4 by Superior Co...

Ending water wars could spark tax wars

Friday, May 23rd, 2014
John Bolton - wikimedia

  Phil Isenberg wants to end California's water wars. The member of the Delta Stewardship Council and its past chair wants to connect the cost of water more closely to its users. According to a report by the California Economic Summit, he points out that the cost of water is about $30 b...

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