Sep 30, 2014
AB 2363 protects ratepayers, levels playing field for biomass, geothermal power
A measure sponsored by Assemblyman Brian Dahle requiring utility regulators to calculate the full cost of reliably integrating renewable energy into the state’s power grid has won the governor’s signature.
Assembly Bill 2363 directs the California Public Utilities Commission to calculate the integration cost of different sources of “green” power to ensure ratepayers get the best deal for their renewable electricity dollar.
“California has the nation’s most aggressive plans to promote renewable energy,” Dahle said. “As we push ahead, we need to protect ratepayers and be fair to businesses that have invested in renewable generation.”
Wind and solar electricity, in particular, require expensive backup power or storage to ensure consistent availability of electricity despite changes in the weather, yet the CPUC has not included those costs when figuring the cost of renewable energy sources as it reviews utilities’ power purchases.
A better accounting will level the playing field within the renewable sector and ensure small hydroelectric, geothermal, and biomass energy producers have a fair shot at selling power into the market. Large tax credits and other incentives for wind and solar have undermined the financial viability of some of the North State’s most valuable contributions to the state’s renewable-energy future.
“In order to ensure the security and stability of California’s energy market, our renewable portfolio standards need to be balanced and diversified,” said Julee Malinowski Ball, Executive Director of the California Biomass Energy Alliance. “Assemblyman Dahle’s AB 2363 is a significant move in that direction by requiring the Public Utilities Commission to accurately consider the full costs and benefits of renewable resources being offered.”
“On behalf of Calpine and the over 300 men and women who work full-time at The Geysers, the world’s single largest geothermal resource developed for electric generation, we want to thank Assemblymember Brian Dahle for his tenacious support of a renewable energy policy that creates a more level playing field among all new and existing renewable resources in the utility contracting process,” said Jim Kluesener, Calpine’s Vice President of Geothermal Operations. “The Geysers has been in operation for nearly 55 years and we look forward to continuing to work with Assemblymember Dahle, members of the State Legislature, Governor Brown and the California Public Utilities Commission to implement this important piece of legislation and other policies necessary to ensure The Geysers continue to provide affordable and reliable low-carbon energy for years to come.”
The measure will also protect ratepayers. AB 2363 will help ensure utilities buy power that meets customers’ needs at the true best price, instead of hiding the long-term costs of new renewable power sources.
In signing AB 2363, Gov. Jerry Brown issued a statement stressing the need to maintain affordability and reliability, and noting the importance of geothermal and biomass power in meeting the state’s environmental goals.
“I thank the Governor for signing this bill,” Dahle said, “and it’s encouraging that we share a similar, bipartisan vision for these important North State industries.”
Assemblyman Brian Dahle, R-Bieber, represents the 1st Assembly District, which includes Shasta, Lassen, Nevada, Siskiyou, Modoc, Plumas and Sierra counties, and portions of Butte and Placer counties.
Sep 30, 2014
PNP comment: About time the pollution and water takings by marijuana growers in the public’s land is exposed. — Editor Liz Bowen
Published: Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2014 – 9:33 am
Last Modified: Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2014 – 10:31 am
GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Water use and other actions by the marijuana industry in the Emerald Triangle of Northern California and Southern Oregon are threatening salmon already in danger of extinction, federal biologists said Tuesday.
Concerns about the impact of pot farming were raised by the NOAA Fisheries Service in its final recovery plan for coho salmon in the region. The full plan was to be posted on the agency’s website.
A copy obtained in advance calls for determining then decreasing the amount of water that pot growers illegally withdraw from creeks where young fish struggle to survive.
Pot is legally grown in the region for medical purposes and illegally for the black market.
Other threats from the unregulated industry include clear-cutting forests to create pot plantations, building roads that send sediment into salmon streams, and spreading fertilizer and pesticides that poison the water.
Coho salmon have been listed as a threatened species since 1997 in the region. Like salmon throughout the West, they have suffered from loss of habitat from logging, agriculture, urban development, overfishing and dams.
The recovery plan also calls for steps to address many of those issues.
The spotlight on marijuana stemmed from a California Department of Fish and Wildlife study that estimated pot growers suck millions of gallons of water from salmon streams.
“Logging is regulated. Vineyards are regulated. It is time this industry was willing to be regulated,” said Scott Bauer, an environmental scientist on the watershed enforcement team of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and lead author of the study.
Armed with new authority from the Legislature, the department is imposing fines for illegal water withdrawals for use on pot plantations, Bauer said.
The recovery plan points specifically to marijuana as a threat in river basins of Northern California, but the same issues exist in southwestern Oregon rivers, said Clarence Hostler, south coast branch chief for NOAA Fisheries in Arcata, California.
The plan marks the second time that Endangered Species Act actions have pointed to marijuana as a threat. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been looking at rat poison left around illegal pot plantations in California as a factor in whether to list the Pacific fisher as a threatened species.
The Emerald Growers Association represents a few hundred marijuana farmers in the region known as the Emerald Triangle due to the prevalence of pot plantations. Executive director Hezekiah Allen said bringing the industry under regulation would allow legitimate growers to compete more evenly with illegal growers, who have a financial incentive to cut corners.
“We need regulation that’s going to make sense to the farmers on the ground,” he said. “That is also going to achieve the public safety and environmental goals that we all share.”
Sep 30, 2014
Published: Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2014 – 10:04 am
Last Modified: Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2014 – 11:52 am
Time to invest in a reusable shopping bag.
Concluding the long odyssey of one of the most contentious bills of 2014, Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed legislation phasing out the single-use plastic bags that grocery stores and other retailers use to package products at the checkout line. Brown’s assent hands a sweeping victory to environmentalists and vindicates the scores of cities and counties that have already banned bags.
“This bill is a step in the right direction – it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks and even the vast ocean itself,” Brown wrote in a signing message. “We’re the first to ban these bags, and we won’t be the last.”
Minutes after Brown announced signing the bill, an industry group called the American Progressive Bag Alliance vowed to begin collecting signatures in an effort to overturn the law via a referendum on the 2016 ballot.
“Our research confirms that the vast majority of California voters are opposed to legislation that bans recyclable plastic bags and allows grocers to charge and keep fees on other bags,” a release from the organization said, denouncing the legislation as “a back room deal between the grocers and union bosses to scam California consumers out of billions of dollars without providing any public benefit – all under the guise of environmentalism.”
Implementing the law will reverberate through multiple industries, shifting how retailers and manufacturers do business. Consumers will face a choice: purchase a reusable bag, or pay at least ten cents for a paper bag or a multi-use plastic carrier that meets a set of state durability standards.
It is not a new concept. There is precedent in the more than 100 municipalities across the state that have already enacted similar prohibitions after concluding that the amount of waste generated by plastic bags outweighs the convenience. Advocates for a statewide ban said the experiment has unfolded on the local level with few hitches.
“There has been very little in the way of noncompliance with the local ordinances – grocery stores seem to be complying readily,” said Mark Murray, executive director of Californians Against Waste, which spearheaded the state legislation. “There has been zero need for plastic bag police.”
Senate Bill 270 authorizes local governments to impose fines of up to $5,000 on businesses that don’t ditch their single-use bags or fail to charge for substitutes. But in San Francisco, where California’s first bag ban has been extended to cover businesses large and small, a spokesman said the city has not leveled a single fine.
“The idea for us was really to change behavior,” said San Francisco Department of the Environment spokesman Guillermo Rodriguez, pointing to a campaign that included preparing explanations of the new law merchants could post in their stores. “We felt the education and outreach has been the primary vehicle.”
Davis is one of the most recent adherents, adopting a ban this summer. The manager of Nugget Market on Mace Boulevard said the transition has been painless.
“It’s pretty seamless, I would say,” manager Vicente Osegueda said. “There’s always a little bit of a reaction when something’s different, but most (customers) really understand why they were taken out.”
That lack of consternation reflects the fact that organizations representing retailers and grocery stores backed SB 270, calling a statewide standard preferable to the current quilt of varying ordinances.
Opposition came from other quarters. Critics representing paper and plastic bag businesses denounced the minimum ten-cent fee as an unjustified sweetener included to buy the backing of grocery stores.
Lawmakers who voted against the bill called the ten cent fee a hidden wealth transfer tax that would enrich a powerful industry while burdening low-income Californians, confusing consumers and damaging the economy.
Sep 30, 2014
Last day to call, tweet and email Gov. Jerry Brown to VETO these Unconstitutional GUN BILLS. If he does not veto them today, the bills will automatically become law!
SB808 – . Bans the sale, transfer, and inheritance of home-built firearms. Requires you to PERMANENTLY DEFACE all un-serialized handguns, and all long guns made after December 16, 1968, with a DOJ-issued serial number — EVEN IF CURRENTLY LEGAL.
AB1014 – Creates “Gun Violence Restraining Orders” and “firearm seizure warrants” to strip people of Second Amendment rights and their property.
AB1609 – New firearm importation regulations, penalties.
SB199 – Redefines BB guns/imitation firearms, adds new manufacturing requirements.
Phone: (916) 445-2841
Today is the LAST day to defend your Second Amendment gun rights.
Sep 29, 2014
Proverbs 2:6-9 “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path.” Sent from Frank Tallerico 9/28/14
Getting to ‘yes’ in the Klamath Basin. Water issues prove divisive, both locally and on a national level, Congressman Greg Walden for H&N 9/28/14. “The public — the hardworking families of the Klamath Basin — is too often left out of this debate, hampering progress towards the goal…Any effort to build public support must recognize that removing all four dams is a non-starter. Most people in the Basin oppose such a plan, as do key folks in Congress…”
Media may need permit to film nature; Forest Service considers setting fees for wilderness photography, movie-making, (comment period through Dec 3). H&N, posted to KBC 9/28/14. “(USFS) said it would consider the nature of a proposed project before approving a special-use permit and charge fees of up to $1,500 for commercial filming and photography in federally designated wilderness areas. Press advocates have criticized the rules as a violation of the First Amendment, saying it raises concerns about press freedom…The agency, which manages nearly 190 million acres of public lands in national forests and grasslands, including 439 wilderness areas…permit applications would be evaluated based on several criteria, including whether it spreads information about the enjoyment or use of wilderness or its ecological, geological, scientific, educational, scenic or historical values; helps preserve the wilderness character…’It is also very troubling that journalists could be held to different standards at the discretion of the issuing officer depending on the content of their stories and its relevance to wilderness activity,” U.S. Rep. Greg Walden’ “
Planning under way for Merrill Potato Festival Oct 16-18, H&N 9/28/14
Bucket holds strong symbolism for the (Klamath) Basin, by Jim Ottoman, H&N posted to KBC 9/28/14.
Bucket symbolizes key struggle in community by Rudy Hiley, Tulelake for H&N posted to KBC 9/28/14
California woman helps neighbors during drought; 72-year-old transports fresh water jugs to those in need, H&N posted to KBC 9/28/14.
While CAl Fish and Game WCB spends $30,000,000 in land acquisition.
Footing the bill for legislative loan is too heavy a burden for Oregonians; taxpayers should vote ‘no’ on Measure 86, by Oregon Senator Doug Whitsett for H&N posted to KBC 9/28/14. “…the principle and interest on state debt exceeds the entire budget for the Oregon Department of Corrections…”
Going for launch with the salmon cannon, H&N posted to KBC 9/28/14. “Salmon may soon have a faster way to make it around dams. There’s a new technology that’s helping to transport hatchery fish in Washington. It’s called the salmon cannon..”
State adopts drought rule; drinking, stock water given preference by commission, H&N posted to KBC 9/28/14. Related article: County, state tussle over water regulations; public works director to sit on water advisory, H&N, posted to KBC 9/20/14.
Energy independence is possible…it all starts at the ballot box, Oregon Senator Doug Whitsett newsletter in H&N posted to KBC 9/28/14.
Sep 29, 2014
NO Meeting on this Tuesday, Sept. 30th
Instead you are encouraged to attend the 2 day
KrisAnn Hall Seminar on the Constitution
at the Yreka Greenhorn Grange .
– Free to the Public. Everyone Welcome.
Contact Louise for more information at 530-842-5443
Sep 26, 2014
Alaska Native News.com
The U.S. Forest Service has done an about-face on the issue of photography on U.S. Forest Service lands throughout the nation. Previously this week, it was reported that the U.S. Forest Service would be charging up to $1,500 for permits to film or take photographs in federally designated wilderness areas or face penalties of up to $1,000.
According to Acting Wilderness Director, Liz Close, previously, the restrictions have been in place and that the agency s implementing the Wilderness Act of 1964 and are needed to preserve the country’s wilderness.
The proposed regulation would have affected 109,000,000 acres of federally designated wilderness, half of which is in the state of Alaska. The Forest Service has said that a permit would not be required unless sets are brought in or models used in the shoot or where the public is generally not permitted.
On Thursday, upon learning of the Forest Service’s photography policy, Senator Mark Begich released the following statement:
“These proposed rules are ridiculous. It’s deeply troubling that the USFS is proposing to make Alaskans pay a ‘photo fee’ in the Tongass or Chugach — it’s absurd,” said Begich. “The rule also appears to defy common sense, as the cost to issue complete and process paperwork permits would likely far outweigh the revenue generated. I will be contacting U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and USFS Chief Tidwell to re-consider this unnecessary rule that tramples on First Amendment rights. The bottom line is that Forest Service policy should protect the First Amendment and allow Alaskans to hunt, fish, hike or photograph our national forests unhindered.”
Late Thursday night, U.S.F.S. Chief Tom Tidwell released a statement stating that the provisions would not include news gathering footage or that of documentaries. Tidwell also stated, “The proposal does not change the rules for visitors or recreational photographers. Generally, professional and amateur photographers will not need a permit unless they use models, actors or props; work in areas where the public is generally not allowed; or cause additional administrative costs.”
In short, Tidwell said, “The fact is, the directive pertains to commercial photography and filming only – if you’re there to gather news or take recreational photographs, no permit would be required.”
Sep 26, 2014
Del Norte Sheriff Dean Wilson is hosting a Sheriffs’ Conference
Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014
1 to 4 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Hall
810 H Street
Crescent City, CA.
Panel of Sheriffs include:
Siskiyou Sheriff Jon Lopey
Modoc Sheriff Mike Poindexter
Glenn sheriff Larry Jones
Humboldt Sheriff Mike Downey