Posts Tagged: environmentalists

News

California’s winding road ahead to ‘carbon neutrality’

A photo illustration of carbon-neutral wind power, and fossil-fuel power generation. (Photo: satit_srihin, via Shutterstock)

California is known across the country as a trendsetter in climate regulations, with tough emissions standards and sweeping environmental protections. Freshman state Sen. Dave Cortese (D-San Jose), however, is pushing for more ambitious carbon-neutral rules that could move California further ahead of the rest of the nation. The effort, praised by environmentalists,  has drawn fire from utility workers and gas companies.

Opinion

Capitol Annex Project: No transparency and too costly

California's state Capitol in Sacramento, viewed from the 10th Street side. (Photo: Kit Leong, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Have you heard of the Capitol Annex Project? Probably not, though with a price tag of more than $1 billion (coming from taxpayers’ wallets), you should have. It’s no surprise the general public isn’t aware since this plan to uproot the Capitol grounds has been mired in secrecy since its inception.

News

Dispute simmers over north state ‘demonstration forest’

A 77-inch diameter redwood, old-growth by almost any criteria, is marked to be cut to just 80 inches tall, just off the EZN mountain biking trail in the town of Mendocino. (Photo: Samuel Goldberger, by permission)

Driving the 25-mile, winding pass known as California Highway 20, you could be excused for missing the weather-worn, wooden sign welcoming you into — and through — Jackson State Demonstration Forest. After all, the towering redwood trees dappling the sunlight over the road and the misty fog that clings to every curve is what most drivers are there for, as they head toward the craggy cliffs of the Mendocino coastline.

Opinion

Time to reconfigure Dept. of Toxic Substances Control?

Aging containers filled with toxic waste await disposal. (Photo: Anna Vaczi, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Just as the coronavirus ruthlessly attacks vulnerable points in the human body, the pandemic is also exposing weaknesses in a range of society’s organizations and arrangements. Government is no exception.

News

Who decides on greenhouse gases: Voters or lawmakers?

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

It’s a familiar fight in the Capitol: Oil companies and their allies say jobs and Californians’ ability to get from place to place at reasonable cost are at stake, which can have a dramatic impact on lower income workers. Environmentalist say the future of the planet is what it’s all about, starting in California. Ultimately, the issue may be decided by millions of voters — not Sacramento lawmakers.

News

Coastal Commission vote rattles far north

The lighthouse off Front Street in Crescent City, Del Norte County. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)

After hours of passionate testimony, almost exclusively in support of beleaguered executive director Charles Lester, the Coastal Commission voted 7-5 to fire him. Four months later and 600 miles to the north, the aftershocks of the Commission’s political earthquake are still being felt: On June 7, Martha McClure, a commissioner who voted to fire Lester, lost the Del Norte County supervisor seat that she has held for the past 20 years.

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.”

News

A tale of tension at the Coastal Commission

Bixby Creek Bridge in Big Sur, south of Carmel. (Photo: Tom Tietz)

For those attempting to oust Charles Lester, the executive director of the California Coastal Commission, the upcoming hearing is a referendum on his job performance. For the environmentalists who follow the commission, it’s a coup and an attempt to seize the upper hand in the power struggle between pro-development interests and an environmentalist staff that they believe has defined the commission since the reign of Peter Douglas.

News

Coastal Commission executive director under fire

The California coast along Redwood National Park, north Humboldt County, (Photo: Don Forthuber, redwoods.info)

A move to oust the executive director of the California Coastal Commission is under way, an effort that marks the most significant attempt against the commission’s ranking administrator in two decades. Commission Chair Steve Kinsey wrote a letter to Executive Director Charles Lester, saying the 12-member panel “will consider whether to dismiss you” at the commission’s February meeting.

Opinion

Flame retardants: Chemical industry uses scare tactics

OPINION: It’s the end of August and, like the rest of California, Sacramento is seeing temperatures rise. But over at the Capitol, legislators are sitting in the middle of a blizzard of alarmist rhetoric from the chemical industry about legislation to disclose the use of toxic flame retardants on furniture.

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