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House Democratic Leader and Majority of California Congressional Delegation Support SB 32 and SB 350

Today, Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) with 25 other members of the California Congressional Delegation, now a majority, came out in support for SB 32 and SB 350.

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Governor Brown Expedites Wildfire Recovery in Trinity, Lake Counties

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an emergency order for Lake and Trinity counties to help residents and businesses recover from the damaging effects of wildfires. Already this year, a series of wildfires in those counties has burned tens of thousands of acres, destroyed dozens homes and damaged critical infrastructure.

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California Water Use Drops 31.3 percent, Exceeds 25 Percent Mandate for July

Despite continued hot conditions, Californians surpassed June’s conservation rate and reduced water use by 31.3 percent during July, exceeding Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s 25 percent mandate for a second consecutive month since the new emergency conservation regulation took effect.

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Dying Mom Asks CA Court to Grant Her Emergency Relief from Unbearable Suffering

A dying California single mom filed an emergency petition today asking a state appellate court in San Diego to rule that an 1874 state law prohibiting assisted suicide does not apply to doctors who offer medical aid in dying to terminally ill adults who want this option to end unbearable suffering. Aid in dying gives mentally capable, terminally ill adults the option to request a doctor’s prescription for medication they can take to painlessly and peacefully end an unbearable dying process in their sleep.

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Judge Rejects Latest Water Grab on the Trinity River

A federal judge today refused a request by a coalition of California Central Valley agribusiness and irrigators to turn off the water in northern California’s Trinity River. The Trinity is a tributary of the Klamath River, where major salmon runs are currently facing the threat of a major fish kill due to the drought. U.S. Judge Lawrence O’Neill, based on Fresno, California, ruled that the risks from shutting down a federal program to release additional reservoir water to protect the salmon were too great, and the potential benefit to irrigators too uncertain.

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Study Reveals the Promises and Perils of Farming During California’s Ongoing Drought

California’s agriculture sector has exceeded expectations during the most severe drought in recorded history at the cost of massive but unsustainable groundwater pumping. Continued groundwater overdraft, while reducing the economic impacts of the drought for the agricultural sector now, has shifted the burden to others, including current and future generations forced to dig deeper wells, find alternative drinking water sources, and repair infrastructure damaged by subsidence. That is the conclusion of the new study, Impacts of California’s Ongoing Drought: Agriculture, released today by the Pacific Institute, an independent global water think tank.

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Cache Creek Wildlife Area Reopens

With successful containment of the Jerusalem and Rocky fires, the Cache Creek Wildlife Area has reopened to public as of Tuesday, Aug. 25.

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Under Threat of Lawsuit, Catholic Hospital Approves Previously Denied Health Care Procedure for Pregnant Woman

Under the threat of a potential lawsuit, a Catholic-affiliated hospital in California’s largest hospital network has approved a previously denied doctor’s request to perform a post-partum tubal ligation.

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Analysis Highlights Fracking Risks Ahead of Sacramento Hearing

Ahead of a state legislative hearing Tuesday, Californians Against Fracking today released a new analysis of an independent scientific study on the environmental and health risks of fracking and other oil and gas well stimulation.

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GEICO To Pay $6 Million To Settle Civil Rights, Deceptive Rate Quote Complaint

GEICO will pay six million dollars to settle the Consumer Federation of California (CFC) complaint alleging the insurance giant violated civil rights and insurance law by targeting low- and moderate-income women and unmarried motorists with deceptive and inflated automobile insurance rate quotes. The settlement also requires GEICO to change its website to provide all good drivers an initial quote for identical coverage, without regard to marital status, gender, educational attainment, occupation or current insurance status.

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More gentrification, displacement in Bay Area forecast

The San Francisco Bay Area’s transformation into a sprawling, exclusive and high-income community with less and less room for its low-income residents is just beginning, according to UC Berkeley researchers who literally have it all mapped out.

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State maintains loophole for cancer-causing pesticides

Late Friday, state officials responded — and again signaled delay — on implementing restrictions for the use of the cancer-causing pesticide Telone. This comes on the heals of repeated requests to end the practice of “banking” allowances for hazardous pesticide use from year-to-year. And across the state, children are returning to school, some of them in very close proximity to fields where heavy amounts of the Telone are used.

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Tunnels Opponents Respond to Gov. Brown and Carly Fiorina’s Exchange Regarding California Water Management on Meet the Press

Restore the Delta (RTD), the leading opponents of Gov. Brown’s rush to build massive underground water tunnels that would drain the Delta and doom sustainable farms, salmon and other Pacific fisheries, today responded to Gov. Brown’s statement and Carly Fiorina’s comments regarding the problems with drought management, conveyance, and dams in California in their interviews with Chuck Todd of Meet the Press.

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Interior Department Approves 485-Megawatt Blythe Mesa Solar Project in California

As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon pollution, create jobs and move our economy toward clean energy sources, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has approved the Blythe Mesa Solar project in California. The 485-megawatt photovoltaic facility will be constructed in Riverside County and will produce enough renewable energy to power more than 145,000 homes in California.

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California Man Pleads Guilty to the Sale of Horns from a Black Rhinoceros

Lumsden W. Quan, 47, an art dealer from San Francisco, California, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to violate the Lacey and Endangered Species Act and to a violation of the Lacey Act for knowingly selling black rhinoceros horns to an undercover agent from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). His co-defendant, Edward N. Levine, charged in the indictment remains scheduled for trial on Oct. 19, 2015, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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California Climate Change Symposium Is Sold Out, but Live Webcast Available

Californians are overwhelmingly interested in climate change and how it will affect their state as evidenced by the SOLD OUT crowd of more than 600 registered participants at the "California Climate Change Symposium 2015: Using Climate Science to Plan for a Resilient Future," August 24-25 at the Sacramento Convention Center. At the two-day symposium, co-hosted by the California Natural Resources Agency, the California Environmental Protection Agency, the Governor's Office of Planning and Research, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), climate scientists and policy-makers will share cutting-edge research addressing the impacts of climate change.

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Photo Shows Wolf Pups in Northern California

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has photographic evidence of five gray wolf pups and two adults in Northern California.

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Global warming is intensifying the California drought

Global warming has made the California drought worse, according to a new study accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

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New Poll: Latinos Want CA Legislature to Tackle Pollution, Climate Change in Latino communities

In a first of its kind effort, new groundbreaking data points to overwhelming support by California Latino voters on critical positions on the need for stronger state efforts in combating pollution particularly in communities of color, reducing our dependency on petroleum, and further expanding the Green Economy in Latino communities. The poll of 400 registered voters was conducted by Latino Decisions in partnership with Presente.org, Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), the California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA), Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles (PSR-LA), and the Greenlining Institute.

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PPIC:What If the California Drought Continues?

If the California drought continues another two to three years, the state will face increasingly acute challenges in two areas: water supply in some low-income rural communities, where wells are running dry; and ecosystems, where the state's iconic biodiversity is under severe threat and wildfire risk is growing to new extremes. Farmers have been hit hard, but are adapting. The state's cities and suburbs are in the best shape to withstand more years of drought, thanks to investments in diversified water supplies and improved demand-management.

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DWR Lists Overdrafted Groundwater Basins

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has made preliminary identification of 21 groundwater basins and subbasins that have been significantly overdrafted by excessive pumping and thus fall under the earliest deadlines required by groundwater management laws enacted last fall.

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California Given a Third Chance to Protect Endangered Tricolored Blackbirds

The Center for Biological Diversity today petitioned to protect tricolored blackbirds under the California Endangered Species Act — its third attempt in the past decade to gain protection for a unique California bird species that is declining at a rate comparable to the extinction of the passenger pigeon.

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Small Business California Endorses SB 350

California’s leading small business organization today endorsed legislation by Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) to combat climate change, clean up air pollution and stimulate innovation and investment to build the clean-energy economy of tomorrow.

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NASA Report: Drought Causing Valley Land to Sink Nearly Two Inches Per Month in Some Locations

As Californians continue pumping groundwater in response to the historic drought, the Department of Water Resources today released a new NASA report showing land in the San Joaquin Valley is sinking faster than ever before, nearly two inches per month in some locations.

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California Department of Public Health Investigates Second Case of Human Plague

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith announced that the department has been notified of a presumptive positive case of plague contracted by a recent visitor to California from Georgia. Confirmatory testing is being conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Prior to becoming ill, the patient had been vacationing in Yosemite National Park (Yosemite), the Sierra National Forest and surrounding areas in California in early August. CDPH is in contact with Yosemite, CDC and the National Forest Service to assess locations where the patient visited.

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Banking on Coal in Oakland
Full story: East Bay Express


Exide cleanup: Toxic lead removal could be California's biggest yet
Full story: LA Times


Measure to Increase Voter Turnout In Local Elections Now Headed to Governor’s Desk

State Senator Ben Hueso announced today that Senate Bill 415, a measure that will dramatically increase voter turnout in local elections, passed the State Senate on a 26-12 vote and is now headed to the Governor’s desk for his signature. Local governments whose voter turnout is 25% less than the average turnout in that city will be required to consolidate their elections with state elections.

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Steve Griffin Hired to Serve as Lassen National Forest Fire Management Officer

Lassen National Forest has hired Steve Griffin to be the organization’s forest fire management officer.

“Steve will be a great addition to our team,” said Lassen National Forest Supervisor Dave Hays. “He brings both strong fire management experience and excellent leadership skills to the Lassen.”

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Report: Drought costs California agriculture $1.84B and 10,100 jobs in 2015

The drought is tightening its grip on California agriculture, squeezing about 30 percent more workers and cropland out of production than in 2014, according to the latest drought impact report by the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences.

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