Opinions

Cap-and-trade: Fix needed now on regulation

A powerplant at sunset. (Photo: David Crockett)

Gov. Jerry Brown proposed in his recent state-of-the-state address that California should take steps to approve an aggressive new greenhouse gas reduction goal for 2030. This additional proposal would take California beyond the current 2020 goal set by Assembly Bill 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. The AB 32 Implementation Group is concerned that creating a 2030 goal will shift attention away from current regulations that are intended to meet the greenhouse gas emissions goal California’s elected officials adopted in 2006 for 2020.

Opinions

Inside the Capitol: Examining gridlock and compromise

The state Capitol in Sacramento, ground floor near the West Steps. (Photo: Trekandshoot, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: What causes gridlock in the legislative process? Has it been getting worse over time? And, what can be done to lessen the conditions that promote gridlock and increase the conditions that promote compromise?

Opinions

Clean energy policies provide jobs, training

OPINION: Now that oil industry fear-mongering over gasoline prices has turned out to be completely phony, it’s time to take a serious look at the real impact of California’s climate change and clean energy policies on communities around our state. Simply put, the news is good and getting better. These successes and stories haven’t been widely shared, however, and we’re hoping to change that.

Opinions

Lobbying: A veteran advocate details his profession

Lobbyist Bev Hansen, left, and her fellow advocates in an Assembly corridor just days before the end of the 2014 session. (Photo: Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

While most people have heard of lobbyists and have a general idea of what the lobbying profession is about, few understand the breadth and complexity of this work and the important role that lobbyists play in developing state policy. When I first began lobbying, long-time relationships ruled the process, there was far more bipartisan collaboration, and individual legislators wielded enormous clout.

Opinions

Indirect land use change: ARB needs evidence, not theory

OPINION: When the Greek philosopher Aristotle presented fellow scholars with empirical evidence and scientific proof that the world was round—not flat—around 330 BC, he was called a lunatic and a charlatan. More than two millennia later, Sacramento has its own version of the Flat Earth Society — the California Air Resources Board (ARB). Only this time, the debate isn’t over the shape of the Earth; it’s over an obscure regulatory concept known as Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC), a component of the state’s Low Carbon Fuels Standard (LCFS).

Opinions

Yet another minimum-wage hike would cripple business

OPINION: Senate Bill 3, authored by State Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), would enact an unwarranted additional hike in the state’s minimum wage, similar to his measure earlier this year, SB 935, which was a California Chamber of Commerce “Job Killer”. California’s minimum wage was just raised $1 to $9 per hour on July 1 of this year, well above the current $7.25 per hour mandated under federal law.

Opinions

The oil industry and its front groups

OPINION: The fact that the oil industry is using front groups to battle against clean energy progress is no surprise to anyone who has been working in California or around the west to protect clean air laws. This kind of tactic has been used for decades. It was front and center for voters in 2010 when out-of-state oil companies spent millions to derail AB 32.

Opinions

Enviros note: Coalitions aren’t conspiracies

OPINION: I find it fascinating that a handful of gullible news reporters have been convinced this was a “leaked” document that reveals WSPA’s secret formula for world domination. The truth is, the presentation in question was given to a public gathering and provided to individuals who requested it – a regular transparent practice we employ at WSPA.

Opinions

Prop. 45: A foe drew personal attacks

OPINION: As a surgeon, I weigh in on political issues whenever they impact me and my patients, and when I think I can shed additional light on the matter. That was the case this year when I became a vocal opponent of Proposition 45, which would have given the state’s Insurance Commissioner unprecedented new powers over health care decisions.

Opinions

With voters, candidates’ experience is crucial

Voters in Ventura County cast ballots. (Photo: Spirit of America, Shutterstock)

OPINION: Inside the I-80 Beltway, aka Sacramento, there is no shortage of political writers and pundits, pollsters, candidates and campaign consultants that try to “explain” election results. They draw sweeping conclusions after analyzing turnout, cross-tabs from as many polls as possible, candidates’ mail and messaging, and all the money spent on behalf of, or against candidates by “independent expenditure committees”

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