03/21/2019

News

Cyber-Sabotage, Wildfires, Weather — A Web Of Threats To The Power Supply Could Leave Californians In The Dark

Russians hack Ukraine’s electricity network, turning lights off and on at will, rendering the country’s best tech hands helpless to intervene. North Korea takes over the controls of a South Korean nuclear power plant. Snipers with high-velocity rifles unleash a fusillade on a transmission station near San Jose, inflicting $15 million in damage. It’s not […]

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Do California Cement Factories Pollute More Than Those In China Or India? Study Suggests Time To Further Reduce Carbon Emissions.

California’s cement industry could be overhauled if Sierra Club California and a Bay Area Assembly member get their way. A new Sierra Club study says cement production is responsible for 5 percent of carbon pollution globally. “This is one industry that has managed to keep the status quo even though the science is showing we […]

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Sacramento City School District Bond Rating Drops Amid Budget Crisis

The Sacramento City Unified School District is grappling with a significant budget shortfall — and its bond rating also hit a low point this week. Rating agency Standard and Poor’s dropped the district’s general obligation bond rating to “BBB,” which the district wrote in a statement is “the lowest investment bond rating.” The bottoming-out of […]

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Gov. Gavin Newsom Says California Is Continuing The Discussion On Rent Control

California Gov. Gavin Newsom says conversations are underway on rent stabilization, after voters rejected a rent control ballot measure last fall. Newsom spoke Tuesday in San Jose at a roundtable discussion on California’s housing crisis, saying the state is speaking with housing industry groups about possible next steps following the defeat of Proposition 10 in […]

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Californians’ Relationship With Plastic Could Change Under Bills Headed To Governor

A group of bills now on the governor’s desk could help change Californians’ relationship with plastic. If they become law, the five bills are designed to interrupt the lifecycle of plastic in the environment. Under one bill, people will have to ask for straws at full-service restaurants. There will also be a funding increase for […]

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Fruit Fly Infestation In Sacramento Will Disrupt Region’s Farmers

Jensen says the county first detected this particular fruit fly in late July through routine trap monitoring. The pest’s presence has now triggered a quarantine by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. It extends over an area of 123 square miles, covering a swathe of the city of Sacramento and a sliver of Yolo […]

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Legislature Will Not Act This Year To Modernize Labor Laws For “Gig Economy” Companies

Businesses that rely on the “gig economy” have been urging state lawmakers to overturn a California Supreme Court ruling that limits them from classifying workers as independent contractors. But legislative leaders declared that effort dead on Wednesday. In April, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a package and document delivery company called Dynamex had incorrectly […]

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California Revives 100-Percent Carbon-Free Energy Bill

California lawmakers on Tuesday revived a long-stalled proposal to set a goal of generating 100 percent of the state’s energy from carbon-free sources. With other controversial and high-stakes energy legislation also moving forward, California lawmakers face an array of decisions with vast implications for the Western energy grid, the future of renewable power and consumers’ […]

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Cap-And-Trade Money Goes To Rebates For Zero-Emission Vehicles, Fighting Forest Fires

California businesses buy credits under the state’s program, which allows them to release carbon emissions. Sixty percent of the money the state collects from those businesses gets spent automatically. The high-speed rail project receives a quarter of the dollars. Lawmakers must decide how to allocate the other 40 percent. This year, they’re directing more money […]

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California Would Require Electricity To Be 100 Percent Renewable By 2045 If This Bill Passes

Electricity in California would all come from sources like wind and solar if a bill in the Assembly becomes law. Senate Bill 100 starts by boosting the state’s renewable electricity requirement to 60 percent by 2030. Democratic state Sen. Nancy Skinner says the bill also sets a goal of getting 100 percent of electricity from […]

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Only 7 Percent Of Californians Lack Health Insurance, National Study Says

A new study indicates that almost 29 million Americans lack health insurance — a big improvement compared to nearly 49 million in 2010. Californians are better covered than most of the nation. Texas comes in last, with 20 percent having no health insurance, according to the latest findings by the National Center for Health Statistics. […]

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California Vehicle Registration Fees Increasing In 2018

You’ll pay more to renew your car’s California registration in 2018, as part of a new law to help pay for deferred maintenance and roadwork. The deal approved by Gov. Jerry Brown also increased the state gas tax on Nov. 1. The new registration fee depends on what the car is worth, ranging from $25-175.

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Stockton To Pilot Guaranteed Income Program For Some Residents

Around $1 million is coming from the Economic Security Project, a network of researchers, elected leaders, and organizers. There are no tax dollars being spent.

Tubbs said over the next six months a study group will determine who gets the money and for how long, anywhere from one to three years. There could be 25 to 75 families involved.

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Governor, Legislative Democrats At Odds Over Inclusionary Housing For Rental Units

More than 100 local governments have inclusionary ordinances. But a 2009 state appeals court ruling exempted rental units.

So as part of an overall package of housing bills, Democratic lawmakers want to overturn that exemption. Two identical bills are under consideration in the Legislature, AB 1505 and SB 277.

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Plan To Regionalize Western Power Grid Stalls Post-Trump

California energy regulators say the state could benefit from sharing more electricity with its neighbors during heat waves such as this week’s, but a proposal to do so has stalled after the election of President Trump. . . . “We will reduce costs for everybody. We will reduce pollution. We will improve system reliability, and these are all reasons to do this,” says Cavanagh. Last August, Gov. Jerry Brown wrote to leadership in the Legislature that he would look to pass a proposal earlier this year. “I have directed my staff, the Energy Commission, the Public Utilities Commission and the California Air Resources Board to continue working with the Legislature,” Brown wrote. “The goal is to develop a strong proposal that the Legislature can consider in January.” That still hasn’t happened, although the governor has maintained he still supports regionalization.

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