Record heat wave puts California in fossil fuel conundrum
A record heat wave put California in a fossil fuel conundrum: The state has had to rely more heavily on natural gas to produce electricity and avoid power outages while Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration moves toward ending the use of oil and gas.
On tap in California: Another drought four years after last
In California that pretty much means we have a drought,” said Jay Lund, a civil and environmental engineering professor at the University of California, Davis. In California, the heaviest rain and snow comes in the winter months, but not this year — about 90% of the state already is experiencing drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. AdMuch of California’s water comes from mountain snow in the Sierra Nevada that melts during the spring and summer and feeds rivers and streams that in turn fill reservoirs. The state largely escaped fire devastation during the previous drought, but has suffered terribly since, after 100 million trees died and vegetation remained dry as a result of the drought. “The interesting thing about these other drought impacts is they happened after the drought ended," Lund said. "
Federal judge says California can enforce net neutrality law
FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2020, file photo, state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, speaks at a news conference in Sacramento, Calif. On Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, a federal judge ruled California could enforce a 2018 net neutrality law. Jerry Brown signed the bill in 2018, making California the first state to pass a net neutrality law. But in a separate lawsuit, the telecom industry asked a federal judge to keep blocking the law. On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge John A. Mendez denied their request, allowing California to begin enforcing the law. The law seeks to ban internet providers from slowing down customers' data streams based on the content they are viewing.
HHS pick says pandemic is top job, but agenda is broader
“To meet this moment, we need strong federal leadership," Becerra said at the first of two hearings on his nomination. AdAppearing before the Senate health committee, Becerra seconded President Joe Biden’s goals of 100 million vaccine shots in his first 100 days, increased coronavirus testing, ramped-up DNA mapping of the virus to track worrisome mutations and reopening schools and businesses. Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, the ranking Republican on the health committee, left no doubt that Becerra faces tough scrutiny. California took pride in viewing itself as the resistance to Trump, and Becerra embodied that ethos. AdLack of medical experience doesn't disqualify a nominee for HHS secretary, though it can be a plus.
California panel urges changes to reduce criminal sentences
Gavin Newsom says California should allow all but death row inmates and those serving life-without-parole to request lighter sentences after serving at least 15 years. California led the nation in tough-on-crime policies 30 years ago, but in recent years has been among the states at the forefront of easing criminal penalties. AdAbout 14,000 people serve less than a year in a prison annually, and sending them to local jails would be a burden, said Cory Salzillo, spokesman for the California State Sheriffs’ Association. Skinner's bill includes the recommendations to judges, while Kamlager's follows the committee’s suggestion that gang enhancements be restricted to organized, violent criminal enterprises. AdKamlager said she learned while serving on the committee that gang enhancements are often used to increase what otherwise would be misdemeanor charges against people of color.
A glance at Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's incendiary words
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., goes back to her office after speaking on the floor of the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. Afterward, Greene suggested that the shooting might have been staged. Connecting a series of scattershot points, Greene suggested a bank controlled by the Rothschild family, who are Jewish, a utility company responsible for the fire and then-Gov. Greene “liked” the comment and replied, “Most people honestly don’t know so much. 9/11 ATTACKSIn November 2018, Greene shot a video in which she talked about the 9/11 terrorist attacks, referring to a “so-called” plane that crashed into the Pentagon.
Schiff in mix as Newsom deliberates on next California AG
Scott Applewhite, File)SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The public and private jockeying to be California's next attorney general is intensifying as Gov. It's a powerful nod of support for Schiff, who does not have much of a personal relationship with Newsom. AdThe job of attorney general is among the highest profile in California, second only to governor in terms of public recognition and overall power. Steinberg, the Sacramento mayor and former leader of the state Senate, is making private appeals to Newsom and his inner circle. Steinberg has a long and close relationship with Newsom, which could be an asset as Newsom faces a potential recall.
Biden calls for action on virus as he introduces health team
President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, to announce his health care team. – President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday called for urgent action on the coronavirus pandemic as he introduced a health care team that will be tested at every turn while striving to restore the nation to normalcy. But Becerra, 62, will face questions in his Senate confirmation about whether he possesses sufficient health care and management experience. Accepting his nomination via video link, Becerra called it a “breathtaking opportunity” to help shape the future of health care. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas argued that Becerra was unqualified because he lacked ties to the health care or pharmaceutical industries.
Becerra's big challenge: Vaccinating Americans against virus
As California's attorney general, Becerra leads the nation's largest state justice department, an influential perch from which he's fought Republican efforts to roll back health coverage. Becerra, 62, tweeted Monday that in Congress he helped pass the Affordable Care Act and as California’s attorney general he has defended it. “As Secretary of Health and Human Services, I will build on our progress and ensure every American has access to quality, affordable health care — through this pandemic and beyond,” he wrote. Defending California’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act was a key priority, but he also focused on protecting young immigrants from deportation and defending California’s climate change laws. As attorney general, Becerra helped lead a coalition of fellow state attorneys general who sued over the Trump administration’s child separation policies.
Top California air, climate regulator hopes to run Biden EPA
FILE - In this Sept. 18, 2019, file photo, California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols, with California Gov. Nichols, 75, ends her second tenure as chair of the California Air Resources Board next month, a job that’s made her the top air and climate regulator for the nation’s most populous and economically influential state. Critics of California’s climate approach say the state's policies have left low-income communities behind. Her current stint on the air board began in 2007 under then-Gov. The state won the power decades ago to implement its own emissions standards as smog choked Southern California.
Amid ashes, California governor fires away on climate change
California Secretary for Environmental Protection Jared Blumenfeld talks to the media after he toured the North Complex Fire zone with Gov. “The data is self-evident, the experience that we have in the state of California just underscoring the reality of the ravages of climate change,” he said. The debate is over around climate change." Two Republican state lawmakers who represent the Northern California region where Newsom spoke countered that the governor is using climate change as an excuse for years of failed policies by fellow Democrats who control nearly all aspects of California government. Newsom finally called for voters to unseat politicians “across the spectrum” who deny the effects of climate change, saying he was not just criticizing President Donald Trump.
Some Californians didn't get evacuation alerts in wildfires
Fire crews across the region scrambled to contain dozens of wildfires sparked by lightning strikes as a statewide heat wave continues. Despite strides made in evacuation alerts since deadly blazes tore through the area three years ago, many are still vulnerable without a statewide system for alerting people. Plus, she had signed up for all the alerts that emergency officials pressed on people after years of catastrophic wildfires. He noted that the flames moved quickly and unexpectedly from Napa County and into neighboring Yolo and Solano counties. Yolo County emergency services manager Dana Carey said Friday that officials are looking into what happened but that a quick review indicates phone alerts may have been rejected as robocalls.
Talk of Harris successor sets off California guessing game
California Gov. Gavin Newsom is already being lobbied by hopefuls and numerous names are emerging in the early speculation. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool Photo via AP, File)LOS ANGELES The possible election of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris as vice president has kicked off widespread speculation in California about who might replace her. Gavin Newsom, who would choose a replacement if Joe Biden and Harris defeat President Donald Trumps ticket. For Newsom, the list choices is long and the political risks many, especially with a national reckoning on racial injustice underway.