News

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Lawmakers aim to wean the state’s electric grid off of fossil fuels

Julie Borg, World Magazine

California lawmakers voted this summer for strict energy legislation that would require the state’s electricity sources to be 100 percent carbon-free within less than 30 years. The bill, passed by the State Senate and Assembly and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 10, will bump up California’s current mandate, increasing from 50 percent to 60 percent the amount of renewable power generation required in the state by 2030. The ultimate goal: All California electricity would be produced without greenhouse gases by 2045.

Under the law, California will eventually need to get all of its electric energy from sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, and dams. Lawmakers claim they will hash out the specifics later.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Sacramento had the second highest number of gun-tracing investigations in the state last year

Scott Thomas Anderson, Sacramento News and Review

A Roseville police officer shot in the face by a .45-caliber Glock in October 2013; a 13-year-old gunned down on the streets of Stockton with a .40-caliber Beretta in February 2015; a young woman killed on San Francisco’s Fishermen’s Wharf by a .40-caliber Sig Sauer in the summer of 2015; a 23-year-old executed by a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson on a Bay Area street in August 2017.

These crimes had a common denominator: They were committed with stolen firearms—weapons that later had to be traced.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Outside Lands’ brand-new cannabis area made the most of its limited options, but most visitors still left wanting more.

SF Weekly, Zack Ruskin

Even if California’s laws have never served as much of a deterrent for concertgoers sneaking pot into a venue, it’s appealing to casually stroll over to a tent and buy a pre-rolled joint with the same ease of buying a Heineken or a slice of pizza. Unfortunately, as Outside Lands attendees who visited Grass Lands this past weekend learned, such pleasures are not yet a reality.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Bill before the Legislature would pay off fire victims and minimize costs to utility’s customers

OPINION: Assemblymember Bill Quirk, Mercury News

AB 33 would provide timely compensation to the victims of the 2017 Northern California wildfires, ensure safe and reliable electric service to PG&E customers and hold PG&E accountable for its actions. Further, AB 33 assures that PG&E stockholders would pay for any damages the CPUC finds unreasonable. This is why I have introduced AB 33, the 2017 Northern California Wildfires bill.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

OPINION: Mike Florio, San Francisco Chronicle

The 2017 wildfire season left behind immense and tragic harm throughout California. Latest estimates show insurance claims totaling $12 billion statewide, leaving families and business reeling to recover. Some argue that financial fallout for the disaster belongs wholly to electric utilities, and it appears likely some of it will. Unfortunately, it is not the case that even large companies like PG&E — or any other utility — could foot the bill for all of the wildfire-related costs without causing serious harm to its customers and the rest of the state.

Based on the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention’s findings from its investigation into some of last year’s fires, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. improperly maintained trees that contacted power lines and ignited some fires. Should those findings be upheld, PG&E must take responsibility for its role in the disaster.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Bay Area Council Statement

The Bay Area Council applauds Governor Jerry Brown and the Legislative Leadership’s decision to convene a conference committee dedicated to Wildfire Preparedness and Response. We are pleased that the Governor and Legislature are actively following up on the commitments made in January to ensure a solution focused approach to the critical climate change and weather disaster-related issues facing California. While this response is a major step for the state, we cannot understate the need to address the issue of 2017’s wildfire season liability.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Steven Tavares, East Bay Citizen

It may be one of the most dastardly political schemes in recent state history. After the lead and paint industry in California was recently ordered to pay penalties that could run into the hundreds of millions to remedy illegal lead hazards across the state, the industry is now moving toward placing an initiative on the statewide ballot this November.

The lead lobby’s proposed initiative essentially negates the court ruling and transfers their financial liabilities to taxpayers by requiring the state to back a $2 billion bond to aid in the cleanup of lead. In 2000, Alameda County was one of 10 cities and counties in the state that initially sued five leaders in the lead industry.