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Investigative Reports

8 of 9 Water Bond Czars hail from NorCal

October 30th, 2014 By Wayne Lusvardi.   Call them Water Bond Czars. They’re the nine members of the California Water Commission and will decide how to implement Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond on the Nov. 4 ballot, should voters pass it. While most media have focused on what’s in the bond, little attention has been given to who will oversee the first water storage projects built in California in ...

Stormwater tax drowns voters

October 21st, 2014 By Wayne Lusvardi. California is embarking on a program of capturing storm water from flood control channels for urban landscaping at high costs.  And stormwater capture projects won’t require voter approval under Proposition 218, the Right to Vote on Taxes Act, because courts have ruled stormwater recapture is not a tax on top of basic water service. Prior to 2014, there was no taxing authority and...

Counties vie for ‘disadvantaged’ cap-and-trade bucks

October 16th, 2014 By Dave Roberts.   In the fictional town of Lake Woebegon, all of the children are above average. But in the real world of California, all of the counties are disadvantaged. Or so it seemed at a recent California Air Resources Board meeting as officials from all over the state poor-mouthed their districts to gain a share of cap-and-trade funds set aside for “disadvantaged communities.” ...

Tiered pricing ends up subsidizing solar panels for the rich

October 15th, 2014 By Wayne Lusvardi.   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 panel installations. IBP is not set by “Big Oil,” but is a policy set by the state Legis...
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