Environment

Brown Ends 2015 With a Whimper: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Landmark bills protecting digital privacy, greening energy use in the state, reining in health insurance abuses and expanding voter registration were among the good proposals signed by Gov. Jerry Brown as the 2015 legislative year drew to a close. Yet, in a year Californians called for bold, progressive action on gas prices, toxics regulation and ratepayer protection against back room dealings with regulated utilities, centrist saddling and tepid reforms dull the shine of those wins for the public. 

No Vote, No Pay

There’s no more basic job description for being a lawmaker than evaluating and voting on bills. But an analysis released this week by Jim Miller at the Sacramento Bee says everyone in California’s Legislature doesn’t have the same work ethic.

Waiting for Governor Jerry Brown to Sign Bills Protecting Californians

The crowded hallways outside of the Legislature's chambers may now be empty but that doesn't mean the fervent lobbying to kill pending legislation is over. 

With more than 600 bills sitting at the governor's desk, we are keeping an eye on bills that protect privacy, healthcare, elections, consumer rights and the environment. Below are some of the bills we are watching:  

Big Oil Slick Captures Capitol

The power of California’s oil refiners is always felt but rarely visible in Sacramento.  It was on full display at Wednesday’s press conference when the Governor, State Senate leader and Assembly Speaker acknowledged that California's effort to lead the world by cutting petroleum use in half was dead for the year due to oil company lobbying and advertising.

What Turns Oil Industry Lobbyists' Heads?

Climate change doesn't turn the heads of oil industry lobbyists, but killing the Global Warming Solutions Act does the trick. This is a picture of the elbow-room-only scrum outside the Assembly gate as lobbyists wait to see the outcome of the Assembly floor vote on SB 32 by Senator Fran Pavley. SB 32 would codify California's commitment to reducing emissions by 2050 to 80% of 1990 levels.

Is the Exxon Refinery Reopening Tied to Climate Change Legislation?

One of the most significant decisions in the effort to reduce the price of gasoline in California is arguably whether Exxon gets to open its Torrance refinery, which has been closed since a February explosion, without meeting California’s environmental standards. A pivotal hearing that was set for today has been delayed for two weeks until after the legislature adjourns Friday.

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