“California, its economy recovering from the Great Recession, is far from the demise conservative doomsayers predicted just a few years ago, a demise brought on by environmental regulation, graduated income taxes and its sybaritic ways.
“In fact when it comes to environmental policy, particularly ocean and coastal protection, California is a national trendsetter and a role model for what kind of blue planet we leave the next generation.”
“A group of state lawmakers is calling for an investigation by federal regulators into reports of oil companies engaging in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, off the California coast.
“Assemblyman Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara) wrote the letter signed by seven other state legislators and sent to the the Department of Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency. … The letter was also signed by Democratic Sens.
“Commercial fishermen have filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for abandoning a program to create an “otter-free zone” in Southern California coastal waters that sustain shellfish industries.
“The spectacular bluffs around Point Arena, where one can gaze upon sea lions frolicking and whales spouting in the frothing sea, will be preserved forever as open space, a national land conservation group said this week. …
“A Marin County judge has ordered an oyster farm to comply with Coastal Commission cleanup orders on its property at Point Reyes National Seashore while awaiting a federal court ruling on the Obama administration’s attempt to shut the operation down.”
“Stanford environmental scientist Katie Arkema and her colleagues published a national map on Monday, showing where coastal reefs and wetlands are keeping communities safe, and which areas may need more preservation.”
“The first U.S. offshore wind turbine hooked into the U.S. power grid in June, but not in the ‘green’ state of California. …
“California is the state most associated with alternative energy development, yet the state’s greatest potential source of clean power (and its main geographic feature), the Pacific Ocean, is largely ignored.”
“The stricken nuclear power plant at Fukushima has probably been leaking contaminated water into the ocean for two years, ever since an earthquake and tsunami badly damaged the plant, Japan’s chief nuclear regulator said on Wednesday.”
“Japan’s nuclear regulator says radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima power plant is probably leaking into the Pacific Ocean, a problem long suspected by experts but denied by the plant’s operator.”
“There always will be coastal development. But if voters hadn’t taken matters into their own hands 40 years ago, and if the California Coastal Commission had become malleable, much more of the 1,100 miles of coastline would have become marred by condos, fancy resorts and perhaps oil derricks.”