FROM Sean Hecht
How Trump's budget affects housing and the environment in California President Donald Trump released his budget blueprint today. Proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, Housing and Urban Development, and public education could deal a painful blow to California. Trump’s blueprint is so extreme that some top Republicans are pushing back against parts of it.
California Court Limits Environmental Review The state law that developers fear most is California's Environmental Quality Act, or “CEQA.” Environmentalists often site it when they go into court to challenge proposed projects. Last week, the State Supreme Court issued a ruling that limited the scope of CEQA. Sean Hecht, co-executive eirector of UCLA's Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, has more on the ruling.
Cleaning Up Exide, after Decades of Pollution and Misconduct For decades, there've been reports of toxic contamination from the Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon. Finally, after the threat of federal prosecution, Exide has been shut down — with promises of demolition and cleanup. That's not due to action by the State Department of Toxic Substances Control, which allowed Exide to operate without a permit for more than 20 years.
As the Oceans Rise Up, What Must Come Down? Students of climate change say that Superstorm Sandy was a wake-up call, not just for New York and New Jersey, but for California as well. And even if climate change is not really caused by greenhouse emissions, there’s no doubt that ocean levels are rising.
Proposition 26 Proposition 26 on next week's ballot would re-label what now are called "fees," "levies" and other assessments and call them "taxes" instead. That means passage would require two-thirds super-majorities in the legislature, instead of the current 51 percent. Fees for air and water pollution, oil-spill clean-up, tobacco and alcohol would be affected. We get two perspectives on the initiative.
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."
The airline electronics ban and what it means President Trump's Department of Homeland Security has banned all electronic devices larger than cell phones on some foreign airlines flying direct to the US. It's causing confusion as well as inconvenience. Is the motive really just increased security?