California has always been America’s leader on environmental policy, and water is no exception. So it was hardly surprising when the state made headlines across the nation in early June with a new policy on residential water use: Californians will be limited to 55 gallons per person per day for their indoor water needs.
California’s two Democratic senators have committed themselves to opposing a controversial House provision that would block judicial review of the state’s WaterFix tunnel project, reprising a familiar Capitol Hill plot. These California water narratives start bubbling up in the House, and then they often, although not always, dry out in the Senate.
A contentious proposal to link oversight of California’s electric grid with other states in the U.S. West narrowly cleared a legislative hurdle Tuesday, keeping alive a proposal that has divided environmentalists over the best way to expand renewable energy.
A contentious proposal to link oversight of California’s electric grid with other western states faces a crucial test Tuesday in a state Senate committee. … California has greatly expanded the use of renewable energy sources, particularly wind and solar, but that’s brought new challenges for grid operators to manage supply and demand as weather patterns and sunlight vary.
Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, got the Coyote Valley Dam project — in one 13-word sentence — on a list of feasibility studies for some 30 Corps projects from Alabama to Alaska to be expedited by the Secretary of the Army. Tucked into the 122-page Water Resources Development Act of 2018, the list was approved two weeks ago on a lopsided 408-2 vote in the House and was forwarded to the Senate.
The Senate’s stack of finished bills includes one with a notorious track record for poison pill riders: The measure that funds the EPA. That Interior-Environment bill was tripped up by partisan riders during the entire span of former President Barack Obama’s tenure, and it hasn’t reached the Senate floor since 2009.
A package of six state bills aimed at reducing plastic and cigarette-butt litter — with an emphasis on trash that ends up in the ocean — has met with a mixed fate, with half advancing and half dying in their legislative chamber of origin.
The legislation, approved by a bipartisan 20-1 vote, would renew farm safety-net programs such as subsidies for crop insurance, farm credit, and land conservation. It also would extend the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, widely known as food stamps, which helps feed more than 40 million people.
Even in times of drought, California’s natural and human-made arteries run with the nation’s cleanest, most accessible water. So fundamental is the stuff to the state’s identity and to its residents’ daily lives that California law recognizes a human right to “safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water adequate for human consumption, cooking, and sanitary purposes.”
Tuesday’s move by Sen. Lisa Murkowski extends an olive branch to Democrats and could allow the first floor debate on a key spending bill for the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency since former President Barack Obama’s first year in office. It’s all part of an effort to avoid a catchall “omnibus” spending bill.
A plan to hit Californians with a first-of-its-kind statewide tax on drinking water is on ice, for now. The proposed tax would cost most Californians about $1 per month on their residential water bills. Businesses would pay $4 to $10 per month.
California is one step closer to getting a cut of $2.5 billion over the next decade for its water needs now that the House has passed a bill aimed at funding water research and infrastructure projects.
U.S. Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) on June 6 introduced the Water Affordability Act of 2018, legislation that would help low-income families across the country pay for rising sewer and water bills. “No family should have to choose between paying for safe, clean drinking water and putting food on the table. Access to affordable clean water is a fundamental right,” said Senator Harris in a statement.
Recognizing that complying with federal requirements can cause water utilities to raise rates, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) introduced a bill this week aimed at helping low-income households pay their bills.
Officials say they need $6 million in federal money to prevent pockets of land around Redwood National Park from being used for private interests. The Everglades National Park needs $2.5 million for the same purpose.
This November, California voters will almost certainly vote on whether to authorize billions of dollars of taxpayer spending for a water bond. But crucially, the next few weeks will determine what water bond will be on the ballot in November – how much borrowing it authorizes, what it spends that money on – and whether it is a good investment in California’s water future.
A bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday, July 21, clears the way for two water districts to extend their systems to a neighborhood on the Wildomar-Menifee border that has been plagued by a poor quality, unreliable water supply.
In signing this year’s budget, Gov. Jerry Brown dedicated $832 million from California’s burgeoning cap-and-trade program to affordable housing and mass transit, including his embattled high-speed rail project. Also tucked into the legislation are directions to set aside agricultural land on the periphery of cities.