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.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
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.
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?