Posts Tagged: emissions

News

California story: Tracking down VW fraud

A top view of a VW diesel engine. (Photo: Shanti Hesse)

The California Air Resources Board’s aggressive questioning of Volkswagen about emission test results led to the company admitting in 2015 that it used a “defeat device” designed to cover up diesel emissions that greatly exceeded legal limits. The massive fraud case — it included a $14.7 billion settlement in 2016 and $4.7 billion in civil and criminal fines this year — dramatically underscored California’s role as a national and international air-quality watch dog.

News

Xavier Becerra: The Golden State Warrior?

State Attorney General Xavier Becerra speaks to the Sacramento Press Club. (Photo: Michael Warren Mott)

State Attorney General Xavier Becerra is leading California’s increasingly tense challenge to the policies of Donald Trump’s administration. It’s a role that gives him high visibility — and headaches. Becerra, in office just five months, is backed by the person who appointed him attorney general: Gov. Jerry Brown. That support is likely to translate into financial resources, too.

Opinion

In defense of cap and trade

The power plant in El Segundo, Calif. (Photo: Don Solomon, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: One of California’s tools in fighting climate change and promoting clean air is the emissions reduction program known as cap and trade. Cap and trade is one part of California’s broader approach to growing clean energy jobs and investment — and it works best in concert with the state’s full suite of policies.

Opinion

‘Infill development’ can help solve California’s housing crisis

View towards Guadalupe Freeway from Communications Hill, San Jose. (Photo: Sundry Photography, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: They say the real estate agent’s mantra is “location, location, location.” And when it comes to crafting smart housing policy, location is key, as well. As California legislators consider more than 130 bills designed to tackle the state’s housing crisis, they should consider ways to encourage infill housing — compact housing in already urbanized land near transit, jobs, and services.

Opinion

The pitfalls of overregulation

A power plant in Manhattan Beach, shortly after its 2012 opening. (Photo: Luc Mena)

OPINION: Recognizing the need to reduce the burdens of overregulation to spur our nation’s economy, Congress put on the top of their legislative agenda the REINS Act, which would require the House and Senate to approve any major regulation before it can go into effect. California — no stranger to abundant regulations and the increasing consolidation of power in state agencies promulgating an ever-growing list of major regulations — must also rein in overregulation the way Congress is trying to do to revitalize job creation throughout our state.

News

Pavley’s legacy: premier warrior fighting greenhouse gases

Fran Pavley and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at a Capitol news conference in 2009. Photo: Rich Pedroncelli/AP

As a longtime former middle school teacher, Fran Pavley thought she would focus her energies on education when she got elected to the California Legislature 15 years ago.
But Robert Hertzberg, who was then Assembly speaker, gave the Southern California politician some advice. “He said we have several champions on education, we need you to focus on the environment,” Pavley said. She did.

Opinion

Low auction result helps legal case for cap-and-trade

A smog-tinged view in black and white of Century City, Beverly Hills and West Los Angeles. (Photo: Trekandshoot, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: When the California Air Resources Board released the results of its May auction of carbon allowances, audible gasps from around the state could be heard from the space station. I kid – but only just a little. The auction results did in fact create a great shock: many had expected at least half a billion dollars to be collected at the quarterly auction, but the auction generated only about ten million dollars. But here’s the truth: The super-low May auction result should actually help the State’s legal defense of cap-and-trade.

Opinion

The attack of the super-pollutants

A powerplant at sunset. (Photo: David Crockett)

OPINION: As Hollywood brings a new crop of super-hero movies to our theaters, state policymakers are considering action against a group of particularly nefarious villains known as “super-pollutants.” These contaminants, including black carbon and methane, are both rapidly warming our planet and also damaging human health.

Opinion

Making the case for fracking

Oil rigs in a Kern County oil field. (Photo: Christopher Halloran)

OPINION: What do comedian Stephen Colbert, the Washington Post editorial board and Gov. Jerry Brown have in common? They recognize the necessity of hydraulic fracturing. In an interview on The Late Show with Colbert last November to promote his award-winning movie, Spotlight, actor and anti-fracking activist Mark Ruffalo scoffed, “What the hell. Who thought of fracking?” Without missing a beat, Colbert replied, “People who need oil. They’re called Americans.”

Opinion

Joining hands on climate change: Brazil, California

In the Amazon rain forest of Acre, Brazil. (Photo: Andre Dib, Shutterstock)

OPINION: Protecting our climate is very important to the indigenous people of the Amazon. In the Brazilian state of Acre, where I live, we’re already seeing terrible heat, floods and droughts that we never used to experience. That’s why cooperation with California to protect our forests is important to people here.

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