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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

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The Unholy Trinity of Public Sector Unions, Environmentalists, and Wall Street

Taken at surface value, there ought to be minimal identity of interests between these three special interests. But if you follow the money and power instead of the rhetoric and stereotypes, you will find this unhealthy alliance is alive and thriving. For example, unions use “greenmail,” the threat of a lawsuit on environmentalist grounds, to block developments until the businesses involved concede to union demands. Once they back down, the environmental problem magically disappears.

California’s much vaunted high-speed rail and delta tunnel proposals are also examples of the unhealthy rapprochement between unions (public and private) and environmentalists. Because the construction unions, God bless ‘em, want thousands of good new construction jobs, and the only big projects that are environmentally correct are these monstrosities. The unions have a choice – fight the environmentalists in order to lobby for public works that actually yield economic benefits to society, or enjoy their considerable support for a couple of misguided mega-projects.

Beyond obvious examples, how unions, environmentalists, and America’s overbuilt financial sector collude –… Read More

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Environmentalists sue to halt Kern County mining over snail

Another Earth Day has come and gone, and with it, a great deal more environmental hypocrisy. Most of the practicing Earth Day disciplesare largely hypocritical, and are just as likely to be as significant consumers of the Earth’s resources as anyone else.

But hell hath no fury like a righteous environmentalist with a big budget and a bevy… Read More

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CA Fish and Game Commissioner accused of conflict of interest

One of the most controversial bills passed this year by the California Legislature wasAssembly Bill 711, by Assemblyman Anthony Rendon, D-South Gate. Beginning in 2019, it bans lead bullets for hunting, supposedly to save the California Condor population.

Since Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law on Oct. 11, a potential conflict of interest has arisen.

Mike Sutton, the commissioner of theCalifornia Fish and Game Commission, will be implementing the legislation. But heis also the paiddirector of Audubon California,Read More

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Political energy crisis in the making

With industrial electricity rates 88 percent higher in California than in Texas last year, the news that the San Onofre nuclear plant in is not going to be restarted is just more evidence of a government created energy crisis in the making.

Due to political pressure from Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-CA for the closure of one of California’s largest power plants, a shortage of electricity is expected, power producers agree. But they claim they can handle it. At what cost?

It is 108 degrees in Sacramento today. If this is a sign of the summer ahead, a shortage of electricity is not good news.

And it’s even tougher to take knowing my $300-a-month California electricity bill would be $61 in Texas.

Gov. Jerry Brown wants us to practice conservation measures. Could this be a Gray Davis redux? “The governor also is urging continued… Read More

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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

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Enviro Wacks vs. Enviro Wacks, Blythe, Ca

Reports just published that a $1 billion showcase solar energy project under construction may be threatened by old bones and sick foxes.

Taxpayers will get stuck with this Obama Stimulus monster. The 250 megawatt plant, being built by the Federal Bureau of Land Management is backed with an $825-million Department of Energy loan guarantee.

“Native” Indians from a nearby reservation are trying to muscle in to get their piece, claiming they have some relationship with the pre-historic settlement. When it was likely their ancestors were responsible for the ancient settlement’s—violent demise.

The article didn’t explain who was representing… Read More

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