California budget

California’s Proposed Drinking Water Program Reorganization: A Primer

Photo credit to Darwin Bell.

What would the shake-up mean for those who currently lack affordable access to safe drinking water?

A shake-up of California’s struggling Drinking Water Program is in the works.  What follows is a little history, context, and a few thoughts on what it will likely mean for drinking-water stakeholders—in particular those who have the hardest time accessing safe drinking water.  A history of problems for the Drinking Water Program Last April, Jonathan …


Yes, California Can Spend the Cap-and-Trade Auction Proceeds

California’s 2012-13 budget assumed that $500 million of cap-and-trade auction proceeds could be used to offset the cost of greenhouse gas emission reduction programs traditionally supported by the General Fund.  Two recent stories, one in the San Francisco Chronicle, the other in ClimateWire, report that since the California Legislative Analyst’s office found only $100 million …


Why Republicans Should Support Proposition 21

In my lonely quest to get people interested in Proposition 21, I’ve written other posts about it, and tried to answer objections.  But one objection, usually offered by Republicans, deserves a closer look, because addressing it means that Republicans should vote for Proposition 21 even if one accepts their premises about the Legislature and the …


No drilling for dollars this year

Earlier this week, Cara noted that the tentative state budget agreement struck between California Gov. Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders included permission for new oil drilling in the state’s waters off Santa Barbara, despite the fact that the State Lands Commission, the body responsible for issuing oil leases, had rejected the proposal in January. Cara also …


Regulatory Fees in California: Killing Two Birds with One Stone?

The meltdown of the State of California’s budget raises a host of questions about governance, taxes and politics in the state and beyond.  One of those questions implicates other concerns regarding the design and implementation of effective environmental regulation.  As my father used to say, “Sometimes cheap is too expensive,” an adage that is borne …


Mary Nichols gets mad

Amid the general relief that California’s legislature has finally passed a budget, our state’s (and nation’s?) chief air & climate conscience makes some serious objections: California’s proposed budget contains a major provision that would weaken air pollution regulations while saving the construction industry millions of dollars. The measure, largely overlooked in a public debate focused on …


Newsflash: The Environment and the California Budget Deal

Greenwire reports: “California lawmakers are expected to vote on a budget deal tomorrow that would waive environmental reviews for some highway projects and reverse diesel regulations for off-highway vehicles and construction equipment, sources close to the process said.” However, there is also good news: “Out of the budget package are proposals to stop reviews of …