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.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.