Posts Tagged: natural

Opinion

Memo to Zuckerberg: Protect privacy

As you are no doubt aware, we are sponsoring a privacy initiative to appear on the November 2018 California ballot, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. The measure would allow California consumers to protect their personal information from the type of breach that just occurred at Facebook.

News

San Bruno blast: Probe into PUC role still unresolved

A devastated zone in San Bruno following the 2010 gas pipeline explosion. (Photo: Brocken Inaglory)

Six years after the devastating San Bruno natural gas pipeline blast led to the deaths of eight people, the California Public Utilities Commission has not been held accountable for what elected officials say was its role in the tragedy. State Sen. Jerry Hill, Assemblyman Kevin Mullin and San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane are trying to change that.

News

Forest health includes fighting fire with fire

The Lime Complex fire in Northern California's Trinity Mountains. (Photo: Paul Higley)

Analysis: California forests are threatened by a maelstrom of environmental drivers of change, which have intensified across four years of drought. Horrific recent events should inspire reform of not only wildfire management, but also of our overall forest-health stewardship and governance. We need a new vision for managing our wildlands with policies based on science and acting in the interest of the greatest public good.

Opinion

Imported gas key to curbing methane emissions

A powerplant at sunset. (Photo: David Crockett)

California is in the midst of multiple regulatory efforts to reduce methane emissions from natural gas and oil operations throughout the state. It’s a key opportunity to make a real dent in the state’s climate impact since methane, the primary component of natural gas, packs over 84 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide in the first 20 years after it is released unburned.

News

Michael Peevey’s tale of turmoil

Michael Peevey at a December meeting of the state Public Utilities Commission. (Photo: Jeff Chiu/Associated Press)

It’s almost impossible these days to see the name Michael Peevey without the word “embattled” attached to it. Peevey stepped down last December after serving two six-year terms on the California Public Utilities Commission, almost all of them as PUC president. He has been subjected to withering public criticism up and down the state for fostering a too-cozy relationship between the PUC and the utility firms he was charged with regulating, most recently Pacific Gas & Electric. “Don’t shoot, I surrender,” Peevey wryly told the commission at its December meeting, a comment that drew laughs.

Opinion

Fracking’s health impacts must be addressed

An oil derrick at work in Kern County, 2013. (Photo: Christopher Halloran)

OPINION: Faced with the decision of whether or not hydraulic fracturing (fracking) should be approved in New York, the state’s Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker publicly asked, “Would I let my family live in a community with fracking? The answer is no. I therefore cannot recommend anyone else’s family to live in such a community either.” In California, some 5.4 million people (14 percent of the state’s population) live within a mile of at least one of the state’s total of 84,000 oil and gas wells, according to the NRDC.

News

Assembly power line-up takes shape

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins announced today the standing committee chairs for the lower house’s 2015-2016 regular session. Earlier this week state lawmakers came to Sacramento to take their oath of office and to officially elect Atkins, a San Diego Democrat, as their leader. Her committee chair lineup is a peek at which members will play a key role in this session’s legislative process

Opinion

Drought takes toll on birds, Pacific Flyway

Birds take flight in the Pacific Flyway near Sacramento. (Photo: Department of Fish and Game)

OPINION: Summer is a relatively quiet time for birds in California’s Central Valley, as most of the ducks and geese are breeding in the north. But this year is more quiet than usual. According to a recent survey conducted by the Department of Fish Wildlife, the number of breeding ducks remaining in California this season is 23 percent below the long-term average. The decline speaks to the significant degradation of habitat in the Central Valley due to lack of precipitation.

News

Brown: Thumbs down on oil severance tax

Gov. Brown summarily rejected the notion of a per-barrel tax on California oil as it comes from the ground, a move that sharply limits the political options of the tax’s backers who hoped to get a bill through the Legislature to raise perhaps $2 billion annually.

News

CEQA a tool to protect Native American heritage

When California’s Environmental Quality Act captures public attention, it’s usually because of a struggle between developers and business interests on one side and environmentalists on the other.

But for the Native American community, CEQA has a deeper significance: It is viewed as a tool in maintaining the tribes’ cultural heritage when their land has been

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