Infrastructure

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...

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...