$14 Billion Cost of Exxon Refinery Outage Makes Case for New Refinery Regulations

A study by the Rand Institute puts in perspective the need for new oil refinery regulations that the oil industry has long resisted. The Rand pegs the year-plus Exxon Torrance refinery outage as the most expensive in California history, costing consumers an extra $2.4 billion at the pump in the first 6 months alone and taking a $6.9 billion bite out of the state economy.
 

Meth and Medicine: What Patients Deserve To Know About Their Doctors

UPDATE Saturday May 9 -- Those watching Friday's Medical Board meeting from home can be excused for coming away thinking they are champions of patient safety. Members said so often enough.  But true to form, the Board stuck with doctors' interests when they voted to support SB 1177 and take a neutral if amended stance on SB 1033.

Regulators Jumping Toxic Ship

Senior managers and mid-level workhorse staff are leaving the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) in droves as its director, Barbara Lee, stonewalls the independent review panel created to help lawmakers reform the dysfunctional agency.

Just this week, the agency lost its hazardous waste management program deputy who stayed in the job for barely 18 months. In recent months, its legislative director, chief counsel, site mitigation deputy, civil rights officer, and chief deputy director have either left or been asked to do so.

Gas Price Panel Ponders Refiner Market Power With Summer Prices Set To Sizzle

It's probably hard to feel the sting of state gasoline prices, that are 70 cents per gallon above US prices, when you are in an ivory tower.  Perhaps that's why some of the academics on California Energy Commission's Petroleum Market Advisory Committee (PMAC) are taking a slow train to recommendations about how to fix the Golden State gouge that's been causing pain at the gas pump for the last year.  

Is Aetna Lazy, or just Greedy?

The Department of Insurance held a hearing this morning into the proposed $37 billion merger of health insurance giants Aetna and Humana. Aetna is seeking to expand its market share the lazy way by buying up competitors instead of gaining customers the old-fashioned way: by having the best product. 

PGE Lobbyist Cherry Gets Immunity, Bad for Brown?

Pacific Gas and Electric executive Brian Cherry, whose prolific emailing exposed a corruption ring at the Public Utilities Commission,  has received immunity from the US government as it prosecutes its case against PG&E for obstruction of justice in the wake of the San Bruno gas explosion in 2010.
 

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