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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

California Cities’ Shakedown of Oil Industry Wrought With Fraud

Environmentalists claim global warming can be mitigated, but only if humans are forced to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This pseudo-science is what California’s leftist politicians have adopted to control human activity, and the unelected bureaucrats at the California Air Resources Board based its cap-and-trade carbon auction program on.

Now, seven California municipalities – four cities and three counties – are suingExxon MobilCorp.and other major oil producers to force those companies to cover the costsand hold fossil-fuel… Read More

Katy Grimes

Water Released From CA Dams Is For Kayakers and Trout

California once built dams to store water from the wet years so there would be plenty in dry years. But radical environmental laws have squandered our existing water supply, and obstructed the construction of any major dams, while the population has nearly doubled.

Gov. Jerry Brown and President Barack Obama have the authority under the existing Endangered Species Act to convene a process to suspend environmental laws during the drought. Governor Brown also has the authority to request the president to act. Despite repeated calls to do so, neither has responded to requests from Congressman Tom McClintock.

McClintock told me in an interview Wednesday… Read More

Katy Grimes

Fish or Food: Govt. Credibility Gone On Drought Restrictions

While Gov. Jerry Brown has issued record-breaking drought emergency executive orders to California residents to stop watering our “little green lawns,” and take shorter showers or face a $500 fine, other government agencies are draining the state’s reservoirs and sending millions of gallons of precious water to the Pacific Ocean.

Last week, a federal fisheries agency ordered the California branch of the Bureau of Reclamation to release 15,000 acre feet of water (4,800,000 gallons) from the New Melones Dam so 23 fish could swim to the Pacific Ocean. This order came right in the middle of California’s record-breaking drought, as people and farmers are threatened with fines for using… Read More

Katy Grimes

Gov. Brown Bans Plastic Bags, Taxes Paper, and Encourages Bacteria

The back room deal between the California Grocers Association andUnited Food and Commercial Workers labor union paid off; Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill to ban and tax plastic and paper grocery bags… despite that all types of plastic shopping bags can be recycled into new bags.

SB 270by Senators Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles Alex Padilla, D- Pacoima, and Ricardo Lara, D-Los Angeles, “prohibits stores from distributing lightweight, single-use plastic bags.” Padilla is running for Secretary of State.

Immediately after the bill signing, the American Progressive Bag Alliance announced it was preparing to gather signatures for a November 2016 ballot initiative to repeal SB 270.

Governor Jerry Brown has repeatedly said, “There will be no new taxes for the foreseeable future.” But the plastic bag ban is also a tax increase on reusable bags, and paper bags — minimum 10 cents per bag — which grocers will pocket.

I remember when plastic bags were… Read More

Katy Grimes

CEQA needs an overhaul, but don’t count on it

In the wee hours of the night, at the end of the last legislative session, language was added into a bill to push forward reforms to California’s 40-year old environmental policy, the California Environmental Quality Act.

The reforms were sponsored by the CEQA Working Group, a business-labor-government coalition. Intended to reduce frivolous environmental litigation and duplicative government oversight, the reforms ended up being part of a smoggy deal.

Before anyone could stop them, the Democratic leadership swooped in on the bill and changed it.

SB 317

Because of California’s stringent environmental laws and project-killing local planning requirements, nearly all public and private projects in the state are legally challenged under CEQA, even when a project meets all other environmental standards of state law.

SB 317, co-authored by Sen. Michael Rubio, D-Shafter, a gut-and-amend bill, would not have actually changed CEQA, but instead would have introduced a companion law to dictate how CEQA is enforced. The new legislation would have restricted certain types of lawsuits, and would have exempted some projects from CEQA… Read More