State to implement strict rules on fracking

Jul 2, 2015

California officials Wednesday adopted some of the toughest fracking regulations in the nationJulie Cart has the story in the Los Angeles Times:


“The full implementation of the law comes as the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources -- the agency charged with enforcing the rules -- faces increasing criticism from lawmakers over its failure to adequately oversee oil and gas operations.


“The fracking regulations are the product of SB 4, authored by Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills). The landmark legislation greatly expands the volume of information about oil operations that will be publicly available. Implementation of the new law has also exposed impacts of oil production operations on air and water, drawing the attention of the state agency charged with protecting those resources.”


And speaking of Fran Pavley, Chuck McFadden profiles the climate crusader for Capitol Weekly:


“Before heading to Sacramento, Pavley, a mother of two, spent 28 years as a middle school teacher. She and her husband, Andy, also a teacher, have raised four guide dogs for the blind. She was elected the first mayor of the City of Agoura Hills (2010 population 20,330) when residents of the almost all-white area voted to incorporate in 1982. Pavley served four terms on the City Council before she was elected to the Assembly in 2000 and the state Senate in 2008. She chairs the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee, a commanding spot from which to launch environmental legislation.


“It can be plausibly argued she has had an outsized influence on Californians’ daily lives compared to most state legislators. Pavley is proud of the fact that legislation she authored as an Assembly newbie in 2002 has, after years, led to much higher national vehicle fuel economy standards in the United States and Canada. Environmentalists across the nation hailed the Pavley-generated standards as the first increase in auto efficiency standards in 30 years. They have now become generally accepted fact of life.


“’I get invited to auto shows,’ Pavley says, laughing.”


He’s ba-a-ck…. attorney Matt McLaughlin, author of the creepy “Sodomite Suppression Act,” has attempted to submit another ballot initiative that would mandate the killing of homosexuals after courts rejected his first proposal.  Attorney General Kamala Harris is having none of it.  Christopher Cadelago and Dan Walters, Sacramento Bee:


“’What I’m proposing is not murder,’ McLaughlin said in a telephone interview with The Sacramento Bee. ‘I’m proposing the laws as they’ve ever been. The Bible doesn’t change.’


“McLaughlin said he purposely didn’t defend his first ballot proposal, a statute law, when Harris asked a judge for permission to keep it from the ballot. He said he devised his second as a constitutional amendment, which he thought she would have to clear for signature gathering.


“McLaughlin said that for centuries, homosexuality was a crime, often punishable by death, but as gays and lesbians won legal and political battles for their rights, ‘I feel mine were attacked. I’m a Bible believer.’ …


“In a letter Wednesday to McLaughlin, Harris’ office informed him that it was not moving forward with his new request and was returning his $200 processing fee.”


Republican firebrand, former assemblyman, and current radio talk show host Tim Donnelly yesterday filed a referendum to overturn the mandatory vaccination law signed by Governor Brown on Tuesday.  Phil Willon, LAT:


“Donnelly hosts ‘The Tim Donnelly Show’ on KIXW-AM (960) in the Inland Empire and has railed against the vaccination law as a violation of religious liberty and infringement of parental rights.


“’With the stroke of a pen, Gov. Brown took away a really important choice for parents to make. I just believe that decision belongs to the parents, not the government,’’ Donnelly said Wednesday. ‘This is not about vaccination. This is about choice.’’


New figures released Wednesday find that Californians have cut water use by nearly 29%, surpassing targets set by the stateLisa M. Krieger and Sophie Mattson, San Jose Mercury News:


“New numbers, released Wednesday, show that the state's ambitious conservation campaign is working, with statewide residential water use declining 28.9 percent in May from its baseline 2013 levels. The figures surpassed Brown's order in April to cut water use statewide by 25 percent.


“The Bay Area saved even more: 31.9 percent. And the leafy Peninsula town of Hillsborough, once identified as the region's biggest water hog, cut its use by an astounding 49 percent.”


Winding down a spectacular story involving racketeering, fake NFL reps and imaginary Filipino gun runners, former state Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) changed his plea to “guilty” in a San Francisco courtroom Wednesday.  Lee Romney, Paige St. John and Melanie Mason:


“Prosecutors alleged that Yee can be heard in the recordings speaking bluntly about granting legislative favors in exchange for campaign contributions, first for his failed 2011 bid for San Francisco mayor and later for his aborted run for secretary of state.


“’We gotta drag it out, man. We gotta juice this thing,’ the indictment quoted Yee as telling an undercover agent who claimed to be connected to an NFL team that wanted to “help” Yee in exchange for his vote on a worker’s compensation bill affecting the athletes.


“Yee, who spared himself a trial where those sealed recordings and others would have been publicly shared, received no assurance that his prison sentence, which [Judge] Breyer is scheduled to hand down on Oct. 21, would fall below the 20-year maximum spelled out in federal guidelines.”


And, our final story is a look at a yearlong battle royale between a graffiti artist and a maintenance crew in London. The British tagger’s squabble with authorities changed a bland brick building into the site of a battle of wills, recorded in a series of amusing photos covering the back-and-forth.


“The anonymous Mobstr, who runs a website that ‘documents images of work found on streets and other locations by persons unknown’, gave Mashable permission to publish the series…


"’I cycled past this wall on the way to work for years,’ wrote Mobstr in an introduction to the photos. ‘I noticed that graffiti painted within the red area was "buffed" with red paint. However, graffiti outside of the red area would be removed via pressure washing. This prompted the start of an experiment. Unlike other works, I was very uncertain as to what results it would yield. [This is] is what transpired over the course of a year.’"