Democrats want to put climate control law on hold

Jul 14, 2014

Some Democratic state lawmakers are seeking to delay California’s flagship climate control law.


Marc Lifsher reports in the Los Angeles Times: “To the frustration of environmentalists, the bill, AB 69, would postpone bringing vehicle fuel under "cap and trade" until Jan. 1, 2018.”


“"The cap-and-trade system should not be used to raise billions of dollars in new state funds at the expense of consumers, who are struggling to get back on their feet after the recession," Perea said. "In some areas of the state, like the Central Valley, constituents need to drive long distances and they will be disproportionately impacted by rising gas prices."”


“The Brown administration, while guarded in its comments, shows little interest in revising state plans to implement the state's landmark 2006 law to combat climate change, still known by its old bill number, AB 32.”


The road to providing driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants still has a ways to go, with a few bumps along the trek.


David E. Early reports in The Mercury News: “Currently, DMV officials are poring over the testimony from the public hearings and will soon issue final regulations. An estimated 1.4 million people are expected to apply for licenses during the first three years, and the DMV is assuring advocates that the database of undocumented drivers will not be shared with Homeland Security or any other government agency.”


“The program is expected to cost from $140 million to $220 million during that period -- paid for by standard license fees -- and will provide jobs for 1,000 new DMV employees. Still, it's unclear if all disputes will be resolved in time to begin issuing licenses on Jan. 1.”


The merger of two California companies has created a massive engineering and construction firm.


Stuart Pfeifer reports in the Los Angeles Times: “Los Angeles engineering and construction firm AECOM Technology Corp. has agreed to acquire a San Francisco competitor, creating what the firm said will be the largest public company based in Los Angeles.”


“AECOM said Sunday it will pay about $4 billion to acquire URS Corp. The combined company will employ about 95,000 people in 150 countries. The two firms had about $19 billion in combined revenue last year.”


A precedent for how the Coastal Commission addresses sea wall disputes may be set by a case in San Diego.


Tony Perry reports in the Los Angeles Times: “Sea walls are favored by property owners trying to withstand the inexorable effects of wind and tides. But many environmental activists say they decrease the size of the public beach by disrupting the natural erosion of bluffs onto the beach and the tidal action that brings sand ashore.”


“Among other arguments, the property owners say that the 20-year clause will severely undercut the resale value of their property. They say the commission’s real intent is to force a “retreat” away from the coast.”


At a national teachers convention in Los Angeles, members called out U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.  


Howard Blume reports in the Los Angeles Times: “More broadly, union activists and their allies have accused Duncan of allying with anti-union forces seeking to “privatize” public schools and pave the way for corporate interests to profit from public funding devoted to education.”


“The resolution said Duncan “has aligned with those who have undermined public education, with those who have attacked educators who dedicate their lives to working with children, and with those who have worked to divide parent and teachers … and he has promoted misguided and ineffective policies on deprofessionalization, privatization and test obsession.””


Wildlife advocates are looking to return the grizzly to California


Mariel Garza reports in the Sacramento Bee: "Places such as California’s Sierra Nevada."


"It’s one of the few locations that the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group, is proposing as ideal for a return of the grizzly."


"In a petition submitted last month to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the group is urging adding to the current grizzly bear recovery zones. Those additions include the Sierra Nevada and three other spots: Mogollon Rim in Arizona and Gila Wilderness in New Mexico; Grand Canyon in Arizona; and Uinta Mountains in Utah."


A new California law will allow farmers market patrons to take a sip of wine or cider while they shop -- within reason. 


Josh Richman reports in The Mercury News: "Brown signed AB 2488 by Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, which had passed the Assembly and state Senate with unanimous votes."


"The new law, effective immediately, lets wineries or cider makers who grow all of the fruit in their product to offer tastings to potential customers at farmers' markets. But nobody's going to get schnockered: Market managers still have discretion on whether to allow tastings; only one winery can offer tastes at a market on a given day; the tastings must happen in a cordoned-off area; and the grower can pour no more than 3 ounces of wine or cider per adult customer."

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