Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday Must Reads: State Unlikely to Meet Climate Change Goals; Hundreds of Leaks Found on New Bay Bridge

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 9:46 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. California likely will not meet its goal for dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 unless the state radically transforms its energy sector to renewable sources like wind and solar and gets people out of fossil-fuel burning vehicles, the LA Times$ reports, citing a new report from the California Air Resources Board. The board recommends that California adopt interim goals for 2030 to ensure the state can meet its target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by the middle of the century.

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2. Heavy rains over the weekend revealed that a key section of the new Bay Bridge has hundreds of water leaks, the Chron reports. Caltrans is seeking to downplay the risks associated with the leaks, but metallurgy experts say they appear to be already causing corrosion and rust problems on the $6.4 billion steel structure.

3. In the wake of the latest political scandal to rock Sacramento, state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg has appointed a new panel to come up with stricter ethics rules and campaign finance laws, the LA Times$ reports. On Monday, the California Political Fair Practices Commission revealed that it had levied a record $133,500 fine against a well-connected lobbying firm for holding lavish — and illegal — fundraisers for politicians, including ones for Steinberg and Governor Jerry Brown.

4. A federal court panel agreed to give California two more years to reduce prison overcrowding after Governor Brown warned that the state would have to ship thousands of inmates to private prisons in other states to meet the court’s mandates in 2014, the Chron reports.

5. And President Obama agreed to delay the employer mandate for providing medical insurance to employees under the Affordable Care Act until at least next year, the LA Times$ reports.

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