Gasoline Consumption Biggest Increase in 12 Years

Gasoline consumption in California rose 2.4 percent during the 2014-15 fiscal year, the largest annual increase since the 2003-04 fiscal year and a likely byproduct of the Golden State’s improving economy, according to the state Board of Equalization. Cheaper fuel costs likely contributed as well, according to energy analysts. In fiscal year 2014-15, the board

By | 2017-11-20T14:38:30+00:00 February 5th, 2016|Energy, Environmental protection|

Power Struggle – Utilities v. Solar Providers

This winter, solar companies and utilities are headed for a showdown. Regulators will soon be deciding whether Californians installing solar panels will have to pay new monthly fees to their utility, including PG&E and the state’s two other major utilities. Regulators at the California Public Utilities Commission are expected to release their proposal for what

By | 2015-12-14T10:44:35+00:00 December 14th, 2015|Energy, Funding, People and Politics|

CPUC Emails May Snare Brown in Controversy

A new batch of emails released by the City of San Bruno last week show Gov. Jerry Brown supervising his appointees on the California Public Utilities Commission closely. That interaction could be seen as routine and necessary political oversight, especially now, or it could have deeper implications for Brown given that the agency has been

By | 2015-12-14T10:41:35+00:00 December 14th, 2015|Energy, People and Politics|

Gas Tax Fuels Transportation Funding Debate

Commentary from Fresno Bee Gov. Jerry Brown was forced to remove a 50 percent cut in auto petroleum use from a sweeping expansion of his crusade against greenhouse gases to win legislative passage. In the aftermath, however, administration and legislative staffers began peddling an alternate version to journalists – that it wasn’t a big win for

By | 2015-10-27T22:02:42+00:00 October 27th, 2015|Air Quality, Climate Change, Energy, People and Politics|

Feinstein’s Desert Lands National Monument Hearing Draws Raucous Crowd

Sen. Dianne Feinstein moderated a raucous public hearing in the California desert over her proposal to set aside three swaths of Southern California as national monuments. The sometimes wild meeting illustrated that when it comes to public land management decisions, reaching consensus is no easier in California than it is in Washington, D.C. At issue

By | 2015-10-20T10:58:01+00:00 October 20th, 2015|Energy, Environmental protection, People and Politics|

Gov. Brown Sets His Priorities for 2016 Legislature

Gov. Jerry Brown often quotes erudite authors and ancient texts to help explain his thinking. But in a raft of vetoes issued ahead of Sunday's midnight deadline to act on legislation, his message came through loud and clear -- Legislature, you messed up. Lawmakers this year neglected several of the governor's priorities, including his desire

By | 2015-10-20T10:40:15+00:00 October 20th, 2015|Energy, People and Politics|

Oakland Ponders Port Coal Terminal

Oakland’s City Council has until early December to make a costly choice: agree to move millions of tons of potentially lung-damaging coal through the city each year for export, or ban the coal and disrupt — potentially derailing — a major development that promises nearly 12,000 jobs. Opposition to coal is mounting from public health

By | 2015-10-07T20:07:47+00:00 October 7th, 2015|Climate Change, Energy|

Legislative Analyst Options for CARB Cap-and-Trade Investment Plan

In July, the Air Resources Board (ARB) released a concept paper related to the Second Investment Plan for cap-and-trade auction revenues. (The ARB’s first investment plan was released in 2013.) The investment plan is meant to identify general strategies for allocating auction proceeds over the next three years, and the ARB’s concept paper is the first step

By | 2015-09-30T17:33:40+00:00 September 30th, 2015|Air Quality, Energy|

Gov. Brown Forges Ahead With Low Carbon Fuel Standard; Opposition Ballot Initiative Hinted

While Gov. Jerry Brown appeared in New York to promote climate change policies at a meeting of the United Nations, the California Air Resources Board convened in Sacramento to consider renewing the state’s low carbon fuel standard, a central part of California’s greenhouse gas reduction program. The board is expected to approve the standard’s renewal.

By | 2015-09-30T17:31:47+00:00 September 30th, 2015|Air Quality, Climate Change, Energy|

Should Food Labels Carry “Fracked Water” Notation?

A California lawmaker has proposed a new label for food irrigated with what he calls “fracking water." Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Glendale, said such water might include harmful contaminants, including carcinogens. Oil companies sell Central Valley farms millions of gallons of treated wastewater every day for irrigation. Some water extracted from the ground during hydraulic fracturing is also

By | 2015-08-24T18:24:50+00:00 August 24th, 2015|Agriculture, Energy, Water Quality & Conservation|