Legislature

California: The Oil Industry's Golden Goose

2015 may be remembered as the year that refiners swindled Californians at the pump and bamboozled lawmakers in the Capitol – and got away with it.   

Big Oil Spends Millions to Protect Billions

For the oil industry, this year’s legislative session was full of doomsday legislation – bills targeting petroleum use, emissions, environmental protection, and profits. For the rest of us, it was the opposite – a bright spot in the battle over climate change. It’s no surprise then that the oil industry spent $11 million on lobbying in the third quarter alone. But that’s a pittance compared to the billions of dollars in profit it was protecting. 

Thursday Hot Meetings List: the PUC, CARB and Hearing on Possibly Remaking State Boards

Could the membership of state boards lead to anti-trust lawsuits and put members in the legal crosshairs? That's what a 1 p.m. joint hearing will discuss on Thursday. 
 

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. 

Big Oil Gives CA Energy Commission and Californians The Finger

Governor Brown appointed the California Energy Commission (CEC) Petroleum Market Advisory (PMAC) to look into potential market manipulation by oil refiners in the state.
 
That's going to be hard to do now that the trade association for oil refiners, the Western States Petroleum Association, is telling the CEC and PMAC it won't participate in any discussions about supply disruptions or gas price spikes. In other words, FU.
 

Big Privacy Victory As Gov. Brown Signs CalECPA

Californians won a major privacy victory today that catches protections up with modern technology.  Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 178, the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA), into law.

It will require that law enforcement get a warrant before poking around in our digital records.  If the cops want to search your desk for letters and files, they need a warrant.  But who relies on paper files and letters these days?

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