Monday, February 2, 2015

Monday Must Reads: State Let Oil Companies Pollute Groundwater; CPUC Officials Joked with PG&E About Gasline Safety

By Robert Gammon
Mon, Feb 2, 2015 at 9:57 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Brown administration allowed oil companies to inject toxic wastewater into underground drinking water aquifers in the Central Valley, the Chron$ reports. The situation is being made worse by the fact that Central Valley residents and farmers are increasingly pumping water out of the ground for drinking and agricultural uses because of the drought. The wastewater injections have been going on for years.

Michael Peevey.
  • Michael Peevey.
2. A trove of 65,000 emails released on Friday reveal that state regulators for the California Public Utilities Commission joked with PG&E officials about natural gas pipeline safety just weeks after the 2010 gasline blast that killed eight people in San Bruno and leveled a neighborhood, the Chron and Bay Area News Group report. The emails also further show the intensely cozy relationship between PG&E and state officials that were supposed to regulate the utility under the stewardship of disgraced former CPUC President Michael Peevey.

3. Three dogs have died from drinking polluted water at Lake Chabot Regional Park in the East Bay, the CoCo Times$ reports. A toxic algae bloom likely caused by the drought has tainted the lake water. Park officials have stepped up efforts to warn dog owners to not let their pets drink from the lake.

4. For the first time in recorded history, San Francisco received no precipitation in January, as the record winter dry spell continues to grip the region, the Chron reports.

5. Federal appellate court judges are becoming increasingly distressed by misconduct committed by county district attorneys in California, the LA Times$ reports. The judges are also frustrated by the insistence by state judges and by Attorney General Kamala Harris to ignore the prosecutorial misconduct.

6. And workers at the Tesoro Refinery in Martinez are on strike today in protest of mandatory overtime and safety issues, the Chron reports.

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