The passage of Santiago’s bill highlighted a continually messy debate at the state Capitol concerning which projects deserve breaks from strictly complying with the California Environmental Quality Act, the primary environmental law governing development. The law, known as CEQA, requires developers to disclose and reduce projects’ effects on the environment, often a time-consuming and costly process made longer by lawsuits that can last years.
Legislators have long talked about overhauling CEQA — Gov. Jerry Brown has called doing so “the Lord’s work” — but the rare measures that advance often only provide relief for deep-pocketed developers or have the backing of Sacramento’s most powerful interests.
Fresno City Council members say they’ve received complaints for years from residents and businesses about recycling centers operating from shipping containers in shopping center parking lots, providing a few cents in cash for each can or bottle that people bring in for redemption.
On Thursday, the council approved a new ordinance to seriously restrict how and where such recyclers – called CRV (California Redemption Value) recycling centers – can operate. The 7-0 vote is the first step toward final approval, most likely in two weeks. The law, sponsored by Councilmen Paul Caprioglio and Oliver Baines, would take effect 30 days after a final vote.
Once that happens, the law will effectively put 16 of Fresno’s 22 CRV recycling centers out of business within six months to a year. The centers are where people can get back the nickel that grocers charge for every can or bottle of soft drink, beer or other beverages that carries a California Redemption Value stamp.
An Oakland nonprofit group founded by Y Combinator’s Sam Altman is raising funds to launch what could become the nation’s largest basic-income research project.
In a detailed proposal unveiled late Wednesday, Y Combinator Research said it wants to give 1,000 low- and moderate-income people $1,000 a month with no strings attached for three to five years and compare them to a control group of 2,000 people who get $50 a month.
Labor influence over climate policies occasionally made Democrats uncomfortable last week. One late addition to state budget legislation, Assembly Bill 134, directs regulators to develop a process for determining whether automakers are “fair and responsible” in their treatment of workers.
If lawmakers approve the process next year and companies fall short of that standard, their electric cars could become ineligible for California rebates that are crucial to making zero-emission vehicles more cost competitive. Tesla, the state’s only automaker, has resisted efforts to unionize the workforce at its Fremont factory.
The provision was supported by the California Labor Federation, a coalition that includes the United Auto Workers, as a way to ensure public money doesn’t flow to companies that mistreat employees. But these kinds of rules could end up “undermining our own goals” of fighting climate change with more electric cars, said Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco).
Germany will miss a European Union renewable energy target by a wider margin than previously predicted, a study showed on Wednesday.
The BEE renewable energy association’s analysis found that energy from green sources would account for 16 percent of German power consumption by 2020, short of an EU target of 18 percent for Germany.