Infrastructure

Solving California’s urban water scarcity

Solving California’s urban water scarcity

A study by the Public Policy Institute of California in 2019 found that per capita urban water use in the state has dropped consistently over the years, from 231 gallons per day in 1990 to 180 gallons per day in 2010. It dropped again to 146 gallons per day during the drought in 2015.  This...

By Edward Ring

SoCal Desalination Plant Inches Toward Approval

SoCal Desalination Plant Inches Toward Approval

In a rare and commendable display of political courage and common sense, California Governor Gavin Newsom has been working to finally grant permits to construct a second major seawater desalination plant on the Southern California Coast. But don’t count on this new water source just yet. Despite clearing major hurdles, self-described environmentalists and their allies in the...

By Edward Ring

Grassroots Group Fights for Common Sense Water Policies

Grassroots Group Fights for Common Sense Water Policies

The Great Valley of California, variously referred to as the Central Valley, or, north of the Delta as the Sacramento Valley, and south of the Delta as the San Joaquin Valley, is one of the geographical wonders of the world. Nearly 450 miles in length and around 50 miles wide, it stretches from Redding in the...

By Edward Ring

California’s Cruel Green Cramdown

California’s Cruel Green Cramdown

A few years ago a provocative book by Rupert Darwall entitled “Green Tyranny” made the case that climate alarm is more about power and control, and less about the climate or the environment. Darwell’s reasoning, echoed today by a growing number of economists and environmentalists such as Bjorn Lomborg and Michael Shellenberger, concludes that environmental extremism, especially now...

By Edward Ring

An Agenda to Realign California Politics

An Agenda to Realign California Politics

When it comes to California’s political dysfunction, over and over, the story’s already been told. Failing schools, crumbling infrastructure. Highest taxes, highest unemployment, and highest cost-of-living. Hostile business climate. Crippling, punitive regulations and fees. Widest gap between rich and poor. Burning forests, lawless streets. Record numbers of homeless. Unaffordable housing. Water rationing, electricity blackouts. And...

By Edward Ring

Noble-sounding CEQA used to fight the scourge of cheap groceries

Noble-sounding CEQA used to fight the scourge of cheap groceries

The old line about nothing being certain except death and taxes is slightly less solid during the coronavirus recession, as lawmakers look to limit harm to struggling individuals and businesses by putting off when they have to pay their due to the government. But an old saw about the Golden State — there is nothing...

By Chris Reed

Sustainable Megacities

Sustainable Megacities

Modern urban centers around the world now have neighborhoods that house well over 100,000 people per square mile. The Choa Chu Kang district in Singapore, defined by boulevards lined with 10 to 12 story mid-rise residential buildings, has a population density of over 125,000 per square mile. The entire borough of Manhattan has an average population density of over 70,000 per square...

By Edward Ring

The Wondrous, Magnificent Cities of the 21st Century

The Wondrous, Magnificent Cities of the 21st Century

The American Conservative recently laid an egg. They published a misanthropic, pessimistically aggressive Malthusian screed, written by James Howard Kunstler. Kunstler’s “Why America’s Urban Dreams Went Wrong” attacks pretty much every urban amenity Americans have built since the invention of the automobile. And his reasoning, all of it, reflects a dismal lack of faith in human...

By Edward Ring

Why Jerry Brown bears considerable blame for PG&E’s deadly incompetence

Why Jerry Brown bears considerable blame for PG&E’s deadly incompetence

When Gov. Jerry Brown left office in January 2019, most of the reviews of his second eight-year stint as leader of the nation’s richest, most populous state were effusive. Citing his restoration of fiscal stability after the Capitol chaos seen in the last three years of the Schwarzenegger administration, Brown biographer Narda Zacchino declared he...

By Chris Reed

The mystery of Cal Fire: State agency not using cheap, effective tactic to promote wildfire safety

The mystery of Cal Fire: State agency not using cheap, effective tactic to promote wildfire safety

When Gov. Gavin Newsom took office in January 2019 — aware that 10 of California’s 20 most destructive wildfires had occurred since 2015 — he promised an “all of the above” approach to reducing the threat that fires poised to public safety and property in a hot, dry era. In his first full day on...

By Chris Reed

California officials knew all along bullet train wouldn’t attract investors

California officials knew all along bullet train wouldn’t attract investors

After being discussed for decades, a privately funded 170-mile high-speed rail link through the desert between Las Vegas and Victorville — 90 miles east-northeast of Los Angeles — could get final approval in coming weeks from the Federal Railroad Administration. After that happens, the California and Nevada state governments are expected to give final approval...

By Chris Reed

“Density Ideology” will destroy California

“Density Ideology” will destroy California

If you’re searching for an organizing principle that unites the Left, density ideology should be at or near the top of your list. Far from being a sideshow, density ideology is behind the leftist drive to cram America’s rising population into the footprint of existing cities. It fulfills the agenda of every big player on...

By Edward Ring

Is new property transfer tax plan a blank check?

Is new property transfer tax plan a blank check?

On December 10, the SJ City Council approved a directional plan which aims to allocate to affordable housing monies raised from a proposed new property transfer tax.  The plan has no guarantees that the monies will actually be spent on housing and has no guardrails to make sure the money isn’t misspent on overpriced new...

By Christopher Escher

The New Era of SGMA Begins with Problems on the Horizon

The New Era of SGMA Begins with Problems on the Horizon

As the year comes to an end, the beginning of 2020 will bring a multitude of issues and policies to the next legislative session. Groundwater will be one of those issues, as the Sustainability Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) has a deadline of January 31, 2020 for Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSP) in critically over drafted basins....

By Darin DuPont