FROM David Baker
Can Cap-and-Trade Survive a Papal Denunciation? A papal encyclical is the highest form of teaching from one of the world's most powerful religious leaders. Pope Francis' message on climate change insists there's a moral imperative to save the Earth and serve the least among us by limiting greenhouse emissions. Part of the argument is a critique of the cap-and-trade system, which is basic to California's war against air pollution — and it took many environmentalists by surprise.
Is California Separating Oil and Water? "Californians expect their water is not being polluted by oil producers...this poses a very real danger." That's according to the federal EPA, which has found that the state has allowed contaminated waste from oil drilling to be injected into underground water supplies that could be used for drinking or irrigation. The issue is more urgent than ever because three years of drought have reduced the water supply in Kern County, where most oil drilling occurs and where the injection wells are located. David Baker has reported the story extensively for the San Francisco Chronicle .
Tesla’s New Sedan: An Electric Car for the Every Man? "From the top down" is the way Elon Musk's Tesla company is marketing it's electric cars. It started with 2500 Tesla Roadsters at $109,000 apiece. Production was shut down last year. Friday of this week, the first Model S will be rolling off the assembly line and into showrooms, designed to be affordable to more people. David Baker is energy reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle .
California Takes Another Look at Offshore Oil Drilling Since the Santa Barbara oil spill of 1969, offshore drilling has been anathema to most Californians, including the environmentally-minded Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. But now the Governor is behind a proposal to allow a Texas company to slant drill from a platform in federal waters to a field inside California’s three-mile limit.
Trump, Russia and rabbit holes Conservatives are now joining liberal critics of President Trump by demanding to know about his administration’s ties to Russia. We hear about Washington latest political flap and possible unintended consequence.
Cover-up or witch hunt?: The latest on the WH ties to Russia Less than two months into his Presidency, Donald Trump is struggling to get his agenda under way, making it harder himself with tweets that dominate public attention. Meanwhile, important questions are going unanswered: why have staff members and the Attorney General lied about contacts with Russian officials?
The 'deconstruction' of the administrative state President Trump has failed to fill high-level positions in important agencies — and some people he has named want to phase out the agencies they're supposed to lead. We look at the possible consequences for delivering services and providing security — and at top aide Steve Bannon's plans for "deconstructing the administrative state."