Investigation-Infrastructure

Legislative committee OKs $2 billion oil tax

Thursday, May 1st, 2014
California oil field, wikimedia

  The Senate Education Committee last week approved a $2 billion tax hike on California’s oil industry that critics say would drive up energy costs and push businesses out of state. Proponents of Senate Bill 1017 tout the additional revenue it will provide for higher education, parks and ...

Ivanpah morphs into gas-solar hybrid

Monday, April 28th, 2014
Las Vegas Smog, wikimedia_4

This is Part 2 of a two-part series on the Ivanpah solar plant. Part 1 is here. As its name implies, the Ivanpah Concentrated Solar Thermal Power Plant in the Mojave Desert is supposed to provide renewable energy from the rays of the sun. But on March 26, 2014, Ivanpah applied to the C...

Ivanpah solar power shifts pollution to the desert

Friday, April 25th, 2014
Ivanpah solar power

This is Part 1 of a two-part series on Ivanpah solar power. It's supposed to be the latest thing in solar power. Gov. Jerry Brown and other state politicians tout the new Ivanpah Concentrated Solar Thermal Power Plant in the Mojave Desert as a showcase of the state's green-energy future. The ...

Experts question legality of cap-and-trade for high-speed rail

Thursday, April 24th, 2014
High-speed rail front page

Editor’s Note: This is Part 3 of a series looking in depth at the latest hearing in the state Senate on California’s high-speed rail blueprint. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here. California’s high-speed rail project has problems in many areas, as this series has noted. A special problem, e...

Sen. DeSaulnier grills high-speed rail CEO on funding

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014
De Saulnier

Editor's Note: This is Part 2 of a series looking in depth at the latest hearing in the state Senate on California’s high-speed rail blueprint. Part 1 is here. Skepticism took center stage as the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee held hearings on Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to u...

Will new community power beat PG&E prices?

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
Sonoma Clean Power

  Sonoma Clean Power officials and advocates got a charge from recent news that 95 percent of county eligible ratepayers will be switched to their electricity service from Pacific Gas & Electric. The switch was automatic, although ratepayers could opt out of the switch and remain with PG&am...

State Senate hearing casts doubt on high-speed rail

Monday, April 7th, 2014
State Senate hearing casts doubt on high-speed rail

  Editor's Note: This is Part 1 of a series looking in depth at the latest hearing in the state Senate on California’s high-speed rail blueprint. California's high-speed rail project keeps running into obstacles along its track to construction. The March 27, 2014 hearing of the Senate Tr...

CA green power keeps shifting costs to ratepayers

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

  California Energy Markets recently reported that three California cities just won agreement from regulators to reclassify solar power transmission costs as distribution. The cities are Pasadena, Riverside and Azusa. That means the cities reaped a 25 percent reduction in long-term sol...

Gov. Brown, Legislature push groundwater regulation

Friday, March 14th, 2014
Water chart

This is Part 1 of a two-part series. Due to the current compound drought and water storage shortage, California legislators are considering enacting groundwater regulation over the entire Central Valley aquifer. Some recent developments: State Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, chairperson of ...

Will ripping out home lawns conserve water?

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
California water chart, Metropolitan Water Distrrict

  During the first week of March, Mother Nature herself violated numerous calls by Gov. Jerry Brown and municipalities for home owners to conserve water -- by showering home lawns for several days. We can't stop Mother Nature. But cities now actually are pushing people to rip up their lawns...

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