Posts Tagged: regulators

Opinion

Broadband: $6 billion plan creates public safety gap

High-cables connected to a server. (Photo: Everything You Need, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: With explosive wildfires once again raging across California, public safety must be paramount as legislators take final action on bills. Action is needed now to ensure that Governor Newsom’s $6 billion broadband plan enacted in July protects all Californians no matter which provider or network delivers their communications service.

News

Lifting the veil on an e-cigarette company — sort of

An array of disposable e-cigarettes on display. (Photo: NguyeningMedia, via Shutterstock)

In recent months, mystery has surrounded the ownership of a controversial e-cigarette company that has reaped millions of dollars in sales of flavored, kid-friendly nicotine products by exploiting a loophole in federal regulations. 

Opinion

Small businesses offer key fiscal support for government

Downtown Placerville, Calif. (Photo: Laurens Hoddenbagh, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The recent flurry of stories about small business woes often miss an important part of the picture: Small businesses’ role in helping fund government’s important responsibilities. Consider the City of Placerville. Located in El Dorado County with the original colorful Gold Rush era monikers, the sometimes controversial Hangtown and the more staid Dry Diggings, the city is a tourist draw housing a number of buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.

Opinion

Air quality regulators must protect vulnerable communities

Unhealthy smoke covering San Jose in 2018, the result of wildfires. (Photo: 1000Photography, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The impact of California’s wildfires have left residents across the state with unhealthy air that residents in the Central and Inland Valley breathe throughout the year. The American Lung Association’s 2019 “State of the Air” report shows that 11 California cities rank within the highest ozone levels or worst particulate contamination in the nation.

Opinion

Ban vaping? Beware the knee-jerk reaction

A young woman puffing on a vaping device. (Photo: Aleksander Yu, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: For decades, vaping has served as a viable alternative to meet evolving consumer preferences and medical needs. But in recent weeks, a public health crisis has emerged. State officials are working around the clock to develop potential solutions to address this critical situation – as demonstrated in Wednesday’s legislative hearings and ongoing discussions about the issue.

Opinion

Fair ‘exit fee’ critical to renewable energy future

A concentrated solar energy thermal plant in the Mojave Desert. (Photo: Piotr Zajda, via Shutterstock)

While utility responsibility related to California’s devastating wildfires is dominating headlines and the agendas of policymakers, flying below the radar is a pending decision from the California Public Utilities Commission to change the formula for a fee charged to energy consumers who leave the power supply of investor-owned utilities (IOUs) like PG&E and instead get power from local community choice aggregation programs, also known as CCAs.

News

Berkeley vs. wireless industry over safety warnings

Multiple users of wireless devices check their hand-helds. (Photo: Andrey_Popov, via Shutterstock)

Few people know that there are federal safety limits for exposure to the weak radiation emitted by cellphones and other wireless devices. There often is language about this embedded right in our phones, but finding it requires knowing where to look, wading through sometimes five or more steps and then making sense of the technical jargon.

News

Drought emergency: The need for a biodiversity policy

Lake Oroville ravaged by drought. (Photo: State Department of Water Resources, 2014)

Analysis: California ecosystems are losing their resilience and their ability to sustain native plants and animals. In the past, even in droughts, there were natural refuges to sustain native species. Today, most of these ecosystems are changing rapidly from human impacts and many have deteriorated to critical condition. Refuges are scarce.

News

Cable merger could have big impact on California

A sports complex with the Time Warner Cable logo. (Photo: Katherine Welles, Shutterstock)

Change may be coming to millions of California cable TV and broadband users. A looming $78.7 billion merger between Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications would have a major impact on California’s cable TV and broadband markets, with the new entity, called New Charter, serving nearly four of every 10 customers in the state.

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.

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