Apr 20, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 30 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Over the past decade, huge improvements in hydraulic fracturing techniques used to unlock natural gas deposits have lowered energy prices and boosted the economy. They’ve been great for the environment, too. While it’s not pollution-free, gas produces almost none of the particulates and much less of the greenhouse gas that comes from burning coal.
Portions of the environmental left, apparently unhappy with cleaner, cheaper energy, have looked for ways to attack fracking, and one of their most promising ideas has been that fracking causes earthquakes. Since the procedure involves injecting fluid deep into the Earth, nearly all seismologists agreed that such quakes were possible. When experiments confirmed that small quakes had actually resulted from fracking, left-wing environmental blogs and groups like the Center for American Progress reacted with barely restrained glee.
But a new letter from the California Earthquake Authority—a government-run, privately financed entity that’s by far the nation’s largest provider of residential earthquake insurance—should give pause to anybody who wants to say that damaging fracking-related earthquakes are a menace. In response to questions from Republican assemblyman Scott Wilk, CEA chief executive officer Glenn Pomeroy says that he is “not aware of any claims having been submitted . . . in which human activity [has] caused or [been found] to have contributed to damaging ground movement.” This is true even though nearly all of California’s fracking activity is concentrated in its very densely populated, earthquake-prone southern portion.
It’s probably impossible to prove that fracking could never cause a major earthquake. But the CEA’s letter does show that the burden of proof ought to remain on those making the claims.
High times are dry times.7:01 AM, Apr 9, 2015 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
California’s terrible drought has become -- like just about everything else in the United States -- a political issue.
Gleanings and observations.3:28 PM, Apr 8, 2015 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
For your further enlightenment, two news stories on page one of last Sunday’s New York Times. One begins a long report on California’s water problems, attributed to a drought rather than bureaucratic mismanagement.
7:05 PM, Feb 24, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Supporters of Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett Packard CEO and Republican Senate candidate from California, have started a new political action committee ahead of a possible Fiorina presidential run. The PAC, called Carly for America, will be separate and distinct from Fiorina's Unlocking Potential PAC, which supports conservative women candidates.
Will the California courts kill Uber and Lyft?1:33 PM, Feb 9, 2015 • By ELI LEHRER and R.J. LEHMANN
One of the underappreciated problems of the growth of the regulatory state is that rather than clarifying the rules of the road for companies and consumers, regulations often simply beget more regulations. A textbook example can be seen in the evolution of so-called "sharing economy" firms, and how they are treated by both regulators and the courts.
7:01 AM, Jan 27, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
The White House launched a new campaign this week to build support for President Obama's executive action on immigration.
12:10 PM, Dec 24, 2014 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
Back in the late 1970s, when I worked for Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan, our office followed the changing data about the Empire State closely. It was a habit of Pat Moynihan’s, indeed almost an obsession, to chart the state’s decline.
10:01 AM, Oct 26, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
California senator Dianne Feinstein told CNN this morning that she'd be "flattered" if Michelle Obama is considering a run for her Senate in 2018:
Can Elan Carr actually win Henry Waxman’s seat?Aug 11, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 45 • By MATTHEW FLEMING
Republicans can’t compete in Henry Waxman’s district. Everyone knows that. Someone would have to be either stupid or crazy to try. But Elan Carr is neither stupid nor crazy, so there must be something else going on in California’s 33rd Congressional District. He actually is competing to replace the retiring Democratic icon. What’s more, he’s winning.
2:03 PM, Jul 30, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A Democratic congresswoman told her colleagues at a House hearing Wednesday morning that the debate over a bill that would grandfather in otherwise canceled group plans under the Affordable Care Act reminded her of a comedy skit about "whiners."
"I don't know how many of you recall years ago on Saturday Night Live, there was a segment entitled, 'The Whiners.'" said Anna Eshoo of California. "You know, they sat on the sofa and all they did was whine. They were a broken record. And I can't help but think of that segment on Saturday Night Live."
10:56 AM, May 27, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
It appears that in the age of Obamacare, no health care plan is safe. Not even one covering California farm workers and named after Robert F.
Told to cancel his plan.9:14 AM, May 22, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
It's not just veterans at VA hospitals who are having trouble finding care. One young Marine veteran in California can't find a doctor who will accept his Anthem Blue Cross insurance plan he purchased through Covered California, the state's Obamacare exchange. KPIX-TV reports: