People and Politics

Legislators Call For Major Overhaul of Public Utilities Commission

State legislators are calling for a major overhaul of California's utilities regulator by striking it from the state Constitution and reassigning its sprawling portfolio in the wake of a series of controversies, including the natural gas leak in Aliso Canyon. Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) said his measure would decentralize the California Public Utilities Commission's

By | 2016-02-05T16:13:37+00:00 February 5th, 2016|People and Politics|

National Political Parties “Out of Date”? CA Voters Increasingly & Officially Independent

As the nation begins the process of electing a new president, the roles of the Republican and Democratic parties are undergoing fundamental shifts that are threatening their impact on both elections and policy. Built in the 19th century, grown dominant in the 20th, they are largely out of date in this new age. They still

By | 2016-02-05T16:10:48+00:00 February 5th, 2016|People and Politics|

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|

Increasingly Powerful Legislative Dem Mods Name New Leaders

The informal but increasingly powerful cadre of business-aligned Democrats in the Legislature tapped two assemblymen to lead their caucus after last week's decision by the group's current chairman to leave office at the end of the month. Assemblymen Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) and Rudy Salas Jr. (D-Bakersfield) now share top billing of the so-called Moderate Caucus.

By | 2015-12-14T10:39:45+00:00 December 14th, 2015|People and Politics|

Property Tax Debate May Move to Ballot

Commentary from the Sacramento Bee Millions of Californians will be paying billions of dollars in local government and school property taxes this week. The exercise will be repeated next spring as the second semi-annual property tax installment payment comes due and the grand total for the 2015-16 fiscal year will be somewhere north of $55

By | 2015-12-14T10:36:57+00:00 December 14th, 2015|Economy & Jobs, People and Politics|

Governor Ponders 2016 Ballot Initiative for Climate Change

Gov. Jerry Brown said he is considering placing a measure on the 2016 ballot, possibly related to climate change, or engaging in an effort to defeat a threat to his Delta water project. “There’s a few things which I’m not ready to lay out for what we do,” he said. “We’re going to do something.”

By | 2015-12-14T10:34:53+00:00 December 14th, 2015|Climate Change, People and Politics, Water Quality & Conservation|

Brown Orders State Focus on Short-Lived Air Pollutants

In a memorandum issued days before he flew to France last week for the United Nations climate summit, Brown ordered his administration to review the impact of greenhouse gas emissions policies on poor and heavily polluted communities in California. The memo followed speeches in recent months in which Brown has emphasized an especially hazardous class

By | 2015-12-14T10:31:17+00:00 December 14th, 2015|Climate Change, People and Politics|

Climate Change Conference Fall Out: “…Never Underestimate Coercive Power of Government,” Says Brown

One of the goals of Californians who traveled to Paris for climate talks this week was to showcase green-energy businesses that are succeeding in the state. But it was the “coercive power” of government for which Gov. Jerry Brown was seeking credit. Regulations, he said at an event with billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer at an

By | 2015-12-14T10:28:19+00:00 December 14th, 2015|Climate Change, Economy & Jobs, People and Politics|