FROM Kathryn Phillips
Does Cleaning the Air Mean Curbing Your Driving? State Senate Bill 350 would increase the amount of electricity generated by renewable energy sources, including wind and solar. It would also reduce the petroleum content used by motor vehicles by 50% in the next 15 years. Supported by Governor Brown and written by Senate leader Kevin de León, it easily passed the upper house. Now it's in trouble in the Assembly. Here's part of a TV ad from the California Drivers' Allliance, which is funded by the Western States Petroleum Association.
Fast Train, Budget Drain More than five years ago, voters in California overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure to approve selling bonds for a groundbreaking high-speed rail project. Legal woes have stalled funding for the train, and now the governor wants to help pay for it with proceeds from the state's cap-and-trade law. However, not everybody’s on board. Support for a bullet train has waned, to the point that more people now want the project halted, than to go on.
California Restarts the Hydrogen Highway There are about 300 hydrogen-powered automobiles on California roads and highways. Governor Brown’s Air Resources Board wanted oil companies to build hydrogen fueling stations for the cars of the future. The oil companies resisted and threatened to sue, asking why they should pay for their own demise. So, the Governor has signed into law a requirement that 20 million dollars a year be taken from current auto-registration fees. Catherine Dunwoody is Executive Director of the California Fuel Cell Partnership . Kathryn Phillips is the director of the Sierra Club of California .
Will Fracking Tarnish the Golden State? Hydraulic fracturing, called "fracking," has created outrage in Pennsylvania and led to regulations in New York state. The oil-drilling practice is widespread in Southern California, and bills for a moratorium or an outright ban have been killed in Sacramento. A measure to provide increased regulation is still alive, but even environmental groups are divided.
How Green Is Governor Jerry Brown? Jerry Brown's famous advice to politicians is, "Paddle a little on the left, paddle a little on the right and keep on going right down the middle." It sounds practical enough but, put into action, it’s a formula that can upset the expectations of an elected official’s supporters. During his third term as Governor, Brown has been preaching about climate change. But, he's also been paddling on the other side.
As Brexit is triggered, negotiations with the EU begin The head of the European Union says "We're missing you already." But British Prime Minister Theresa May says, "There's no turning back." She's made this Day One of "Brexit" — as the UK becomes the first nation to break away after 60 years of European unity.
Trump's travel ban and the long-term agenda The Trump Administration's revised travel ban may be good news for some visa holders and others, but it's still being challenged as unconstitutional. Some reporters call it the beginning of a long-term effort to change the demographic make-up of the United States.
East Asia: President Trump's first foreign policy test Starting with North Korea's latest test of nuclear missiles, a chain of events is causing instability in Asia. Could it turn into the first real foreign policy crisis of the Trump Administration?