Industry: Economy
News
Feb. 8, 2017
With President Trump pledging $1 trillion for infrastructure, California officials on Wednesday took a break from their feud with the new administration to propose a list of $100 billion in projects for possible federal funding to help rebuild the Golden State’s system of crumbling roads and bridges and improve transit and water storage.
News
Feb. 7, 2017
California merchandise exports closed out a strong second half of last year with an exceptional December, pushing the state’s 2016 total to nearly $164 billion.
News
Feb. 7, 2017
"Education will be hit with a double whammy. The retirement fund for teachers CalSTRS, last week lowered the rate it expects to receive on investments. Gov. Brown’s budget calls for $153 million more to offset the rate change. Meanwhile, the large state worker retirement fund, CalPERS, which covers non-teacher employees, also projects greater funding concerns because of promised pension and healthcare costs. . . On top of the troubles for local school districts, last month the University of California Regents agreed to a 2.5% tuition increase, in part, to cover pension costs. . . And all this despite the avalanche of new tax revenue earmarked for education. "
News
Feb. 7, 2017
Utilities must buy back the electricity at market rates, but they still have this vast – and growing – infrastructure of power plants and utility lines to finance and maintain. The more the utilities raise their rates to pay for these “stranded costs,” the more consumers opt out and install solar panels. That raises the per-capita costs of maintaining that infrastructure, which raises electricity prices – and leads to more people opting out of the system. Advances in battery storage could further diminish the need for power plants that are financed 30 or 40 years into the future.
News
Feb. 7, 2017
For decades there has been an assumption that transit is an alternative to the automobile throughout the metropolitan area. The University of Minnesota Accessibility Observatory shows any such conception to be at best an exaggeration. Indeed, transit and walking provide only a small fraction of the access available by automobile. This is not likely to change at any practical level of public funding. As Professor Jean-Claude Ziv and I estimated that it could take all of an urban area’s gross domestic product each year just to provide the point to point access available by cars.
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