Environment

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.

Accused of Ignoring Widespread Contamination, Top Toxics Regulator's Future Questioned

The state’s top toxics regulator, Barbara Lee, comes up for Senate confirmation this week in the wake of a CBS News story on how much more widespread lead contamination is around the now-closed Exide facility in East Los Angeles and that it exposes vulnerable children to dangerously high levels of lead.
 

State Toxic Regulator Improperly Approved Irwindale Hazardous Waste Permit

The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) approved a permit for a hazardous waste facility in violation of Irwindale’s zoning rules, wrote residents and environmental advocates in a letter urging city officials to overturn the decision when the city council meets tomorrow.

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