California Considers Following China With Combustion-Engine Car Ban

 

  • Countries setting sales end dates pique governor’s interest
  • Annual state vehicle registrations top France, Italy or Spain

The internal combustion engine’s days may be numbered in California, where officials are mulling whether a ban on sales of polluting autos is needed to achieve long-term targets for cleaner air. Continue reading

California braces for unending drought

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Houseboats at Bidwell Canyon Marina drop with the water level in Lake Oroville, California. Photo: Tribune

 

Under the Governor’s executive order on Monday, emergency drought regulations, such as bans on hosing down driveways or watering lawns within 48 hours of a rainstorm, will remain indefinitely.

Urban water suppliers will be required to report their water use to the state each month and develop plans to get through long periods of drought.

Despite winter rains that replenished reservoirs and eased dry conditions in parts of northern California, the Governor suggested the drought may never entirely end, and that the state needed to adapt to life with less water. Continue reading

Fed’s Kashkari Says “We Won’t See Next Crisis Coming”, Compares Banks To Risky Nuclear Reactors

Coming as a replacement to perhaps the biggest dove in Fed history, few were expecting former Goldman and Pimco staffer Neel Kashkari to be as vocally outspoken on a topic that is so near and dear to regulators everywhere: their own cluelessness, and more importantly, the topic of “too big to fail” banks, which according to the Fed are a pillar of stability in an unstable world, and which according to Kashkari are anything but.

It is doubly surprising because it was none other than Kashkari himself who served as one of the key architects of the bank bailout plan in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Shortly thereafter he lived for an extended period in the wild. Continue reading

Records: California plans taking land for huge water tunnels

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — State contractors have readied plans to acquire as many as 300 farms in the California delta by eminent domain to make room for a pair of massive, still-unapproved water tunnels proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown, according to documents obtained by opponents of the tunnels.

Farmers whose parcels were listed and mapped in the 160-page property-acquisition plan expressed dismay at the advanced planning for the project, which would build 30-mile-long tunnels in the delta formed by the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers.

“What really shocks is we’re fighting this and we’re hoping to win,” said Richard Elliot, who grows cherries, pears and other crops on delta land farmed by his family since the 1860s. “To find out they’re sitting in a room figuring out this eminent domain makes it sound like they’re going to bully us … and take what they want.” Continue reading

California oil spill: Aerial images reveal devastation after over 100,000 gallons of oil spills into ocean

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From the air the oil shimmers, dark and sinister. On the ground, it is sticky and foul.

A series of images released by environmental activists have revealed the true crisis confronting a stretch of California coastline after more than 100,000 gallons of oil were leaked into the ocean.

As Governor Jerry Brown issued an emergency proclamation declared to speed the dedication of resources to the area, clean-up teams north of Santa Barbara embarked on a third day of efforts to remove patches of oil.

Continue reading

Dry Wells Plague California as Drought Has Water Tables Plunging

Near California’s Success Lake, more than 1,000 water wells have failed. Farmers are spending $750,000 to drill 1,800 feet down to keep fields from going fallow. Makeshift showers have sprouted near the church parking lot.

“The conditions are like a third-world country,” said Andrew Lockman, a manager at the Office of Emergency Services in Tulare County, in the heart of the state’s agricultural Central Valley about 175 miles (282 kilometers) north of Los Angeles.

Continue reading

Delta’s water vanishing amid drought

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In this photo taken Friday March 27, 2015, low-flow water emitter sits on some of the dry, cracked ground of farmer Rudy Mussi’s almond orchard in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta near Stockton, Calif.

 

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — As California struggles with a devastating drought, huge amounts of water are mysteriously vanishing from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta — and the prime suspects are farmers whose families have tilled fertile soil there for generations.

A state investigation was launched following complaints from two large agencies that supply water to arid farmland in the Central Valley and to millions of residents as far south as San Diego.

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At issue is California’s century-old water rights system that has been based on self-reporting and little oversight, historically giving senior water rights holders the ability to use as much water as they need, even in drought. Gov. Jerry Brown has said that if drought continues this system built into California’s legal framework will probably need to be examined. Continue reading

California Is Turning Back Into A Desert And There Are No Contingency Plans

US Drought Monitor California 2015

 

Once upon a time, much of the state of California was a barren desert.  And now, thanks to the worst drought in modern American history, much of the state is turning back into one.  Scientists tell us that the 20th century was the wettest century that the state of California had seen in 1000 years.  But now weather patterns are reverting back to historical norms, and California is rapidly running out of water.  It is being reported that the state only has approximately a one year supply of water left in the reservoirs, and when the water is all gone there are no contingency plans.  Back in early 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency for the entire state, but since that time water usage has only dropped by 9 percent.  That is not nearly enough.  The state of California has been losing more than 12 million acre-feet of total water a year since 2011, and we are quickly heading toward an extremely painful water crisis unlike anything that any of us have ever seen before. Continue reading

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