Investigation-Infrastructure

CA green energy market snags on price glitch

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014
pink floyd dark side of the moon album cover

Call it a green-energy glitch. Central planning of California’s green-energy market has run into a price glitch with the launching of its Energy Imbalance Market, which was meant to balance solar power and natural gas power at dusk each day. California’s green-energy market mainly is a joint ...

High-speed rail takes two more swipes at CEQA

Monday, November 17th, 2014

This is the second in a series of articles updating the status of the California high-speed rail project in the wake of the California Supreme Court green-lighting bond funding. The first article covered two earlier attempts by the California High-Speed Rail Authority to get around the California En...

High-speed rail seeks to run over CEQA

Thursday, November 6th, 2014
Railroad crossing sign

This is the first in a series of articles updating the status of the California high-speed rail project in the wake of the California Supreme Court green-lighting bond funding. Proponents insist a major reason for building the California high-speed rail project is to improve the state’s env...

Little Hoover questions green energy costs

Thursday, November 6th, 2014
yes-tales_from_topographic_oceans

  Gov. Jerry Brown is on a political roll. He won re-election and passage of an historic $7.5 billion water bond that contains funding for the first surface water storage projects in 50 years. But that hasn’t deterred the Little Hoover Commission, an independent state oversight agency...

Prop. 1 would follow $32 billion past water bonds

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

  Proposition 1 on today's ballot marks the first time in 50 years California has proposed building at least two new major dams and reservoirs. If voters concur, by 2023 dams would be built with the $7.5 billion water bond. An important consideration is how the 21 previous water bonds i...

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...

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