Enviros remain skeptical of Brown's climate aspirations

Jul 29, 2014

California has agreed to work with Meixcan officials to address air  pollution and green house gas emissions, so why aren't the enviros happier with Jerry Brown?


David Siders reports for The Sacramento Bee: "Yet Brown's ambassadorship on the environment has been complicated in his third term by criticism from environmentalists in California. His trip - organized by the California Chamber of Commerce, which is suing over a provision of the state's controversial cap-and-trade program - serves as a reminder, too, of Brown's ties to industry and of his tenuous relationship with more liberal Democrats back home."


"In California, Brown has infuriated activists with his willingness to allow hydraulic fracturing, a controversial form of oil extraction, and efforts to relax provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act."


""He talks about the environment, he talks about the need to reduce climate change, and then he is continuing to accept campaign funding from the oil industry and is astoundingly weak on the fracking issue," said Kathryn Phillips, director of Sierra Club California. "Yeah, it's troubling."


One of the highest-profile campaign money laundering cases in California concluded quietly on Monday. 


John Myers reports for KQED: "The political arm of the Small Business Action Committee (SBAC) filed official termination papers on Monday, six months after agreeing to hand over $300,000 in campaign cash to state officials for accepting what turned out to be the largest anonymous donation to a political effort in California history."


"The group’s backers agreed to the settlement, but disagree with the enforcement effort that led to it."


"“We still feel that the law has unconstitutional aspects to it,” said Joel Fox, president of the SBAC, in a telephone interview."


Unlike the rest of the American public, state and local governments aren't mobile friendly.  


Jon Ortiz reports for the Sacramento Bee: "Nearly 60 percent of government technology managers say their agencies aren't ready to go mobile, with security concerns (56 percent) and lack of funding (52 percent) cited as the most common obstacles noted in a survey by Mobile Work Exchange on behalf of technology firm Citrix. Other hurdles: management resistance (29 percent) and cultural barriers (23 percent)."


"Still, 65 percent of the 150 state and local tech managers surveyed said they expect the number of mobile government workers to increase in the next five years."


Former California Senate contender Carly Fiorina may be gauging her 2016 presidential potential


David Catanese reports for U.S. News: "Jim Merrill, a top adviser to Mitt Romney's 2012 New Hampshire campaign, is interpreting the largely under-the-radar moves as a sign of someone that's at least pondering a White House bid."


""I thought of it as a testing-the-waters exercise and she got a great response," Merrill says. “It was very clear to me she's someone taking the temperature of New Hampshire.”"


"It wasn't Fiorina's first trip to New Hampshire this year, either. She was the keynote speaker at the Northeastern Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua in March, when she declared, "The highest calling of leadership and of our nation is to change the order of things. It is time.""


The people from "nowhere" voice what they think about the high-speed rail project breaking ground in their backyards.


James Fallows reports for The Atlantic: "Dan Richard, chairman of the High-Speed Rail Authority explained early in this series that for legal, technical, and financial reasons the construction would not begin in the population centers of LA or San Francisco. Instead it would start by connecting points within the San Joaquin Valley, which is the part of the Central Valley running from the Sacramento area south toward Bakersfield. Some farmers there are bitterly opposed to the project, saying that it would cost too much precious farmland. Richard and others contend—convincingly, from my point of view—that more farmland will get chewed up by road-building and sprawl if the state doesnot develop a viable rail option. For now, let's hear from some readers in and around this part of the state.