Posts Tagged: environmental

Opinion

Keep cool, California: Heat pumps are a good way to go

A building with window air conditioners, which are not as efficient as heat pumps. (Photo: David Crockett, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Unlike states like Texas and Florida, where only 1% of homes lack A.C., roughly a quarter of California homes are not equipped with central cooling. Studies show that the access to cooling in homes is highly correlated with heat-related mortality – and low-income households are less likely to have the cooling they need to stay safe.

Opinion

Boosting state support to working class communities makes sense

A view of downtown Los Angeles from a nearby residential community. (Photo: Hayk_Shalunts, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Last year was a terrible year for many working class Californians. The pandemic raged on, claiming lives, disrupting schools, and endangering workplaces, but one by one, the programs put in place to support frontline workers evaporated. Meanwhile, the cost of basic necessities across the board – from groceries, to utility bills, to gasoline – soared.

News

Lawmakers okay $2.7 billion for zero-emission vehicles

An electric vehicle getting power at a street charging station. (Photo: guteksk7, via Shuttertstock)

California lawmakers have approved a dramatic expansion of the state’s commitments to all-electric vehicles, with the goal of ultimately increasing the number of electric and zero-emission cars on the road. The $2.7 billion piece of the 2021-22 state budget was sent to the Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk on June 28. Newsom has not yet acted on it.

Opinion

California can cut wildfire risk by investing in resilient forests

A path into a Northern California redwood forest. (Photo: C. Levers, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: As a 34-year employee of Cal Fire, I am deeply familiar with the consequences of state policy that for too long emphasized putting out all wildfires, rather than emphasizing the natural restorative role fire plays in California’s landscapes. With Gov. Newsom’s new $1 billion wildfire budget, we have an opportunity to prioritize wildfire resilience rather than just wildfire suppression.

Opinion

Politicizing CalPERS, CalSTRS puts pensions at risk

The CalPERS' governing board during a meeting several years ago at the pension fund's headquarters. (Photo: CalPERS board)

OPINION: Like most public employees, I pursued a career in state service because I want to serve the people of this state and do my part to promote a safe, healthy, well educated, and just California.  I was also attracted to the financial security and benefits available to public employees.  Unfortunately, politicization of at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) threatens these goals and makes me question whether my pension will be there for me when I retire in a few decades.

Podcast

Capitol Weekly Podcast: Quarantine! With Kip Lipper

The state Capitol is on COVID-19 lockdown for at least another few weeks, with most legislators and staff working from home. So the Capitol Weekly Podcast tracked down longtime Senate staffer Kip Lipper, the environmental guru of the upper house.

Opinion

California must defend its environmental protection laws

Morning mist and the lake near Mt. Lassen. (Photo: Matthew Connolly, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The governor of California delivered a blow to the environmental community recently by vetoing a bill that would have ensured that laws protecting water, as well as air, climate, worker safety and endangered species could not be weakened by future federal government rollbacks.

Opinion

Parks are a public health solution waiting on our doorstep

A section of the Rubicon Trail at D.L. Bliss State Park in South Lake Tahoe. (Photo: AJ9, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: It’s time to shift the conversation around parks in California. New data is illuminating the need to look at state parks in communities a bit differently. Rather than measuring their value by their undeniable beauty, new research illustrates a clear opportunity to measure parks by their impact on our public health and communities.

Opinion

Environmental regulators: Put people before industry

View toward downtown Los Angeles and surrounding communities on a hot, smoggy day. (Image: IM_Photo, via Shutterstock))

OPINION: The Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency offered another boon to the fossil fuel industry when it announced its intent to ignore the scientifically-proven impacts of air pollution on human health. By minimizing and outright denying the health risks of air pollution, the EPA is recklessly devaluing the lives of children and families who are assaulted daily by pollution and climate impacts that threaten their health, safety, and life expectancy.  

Opinion

Renewable gas really is too good to be true

A station providing renewable natural gas in Southern California. (Photo: Southern California Gas Co.)

As California ramps up efforts to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions statewide, one polluting industry, in particular, is fighting to maintain relevance.

In the face of local governments, state regulators, health professionals, and environmental groups calling for clean energy homes and buildings that can be powered with renewable electricity instead

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