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California Governor Jerry Brown Approves $1 Billion Toward Drought Relief and Other Water Projects

California Governor Jerry Brown Approves $1 Billion Toward Drought Relief and Other Water Projects

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Only $24.7 million of the approved sum accounts for new funding

Meanwhile, advocates continue to press the governor for stricter methods of conservation. (Photo Modified: Flickr/Don Debold/CC 4.0)

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation approving the use of more than $1 billion toward a host of issues related to the state’s ongoing drought — which a NASA scientist recently identified as the reason that California’s water reserves have just a year’s supply remaining.

Earlier this month, California restaurants and bars were prohibited from serving water unless it was first requested by a customer.

The legislation was addressed in two bills that cover emergency relief protocol, as well as “long-term projects involving flood control, desalination and water recycling,” reports the Los Angeles Times. Of the approved budget, only $27.4 million has been approved in new funds, and the remainder is the sum of previously approved budget measures.

“This funding is just one piece of a much larger effort to help those most impacted by the drought and prepare the state for an uncertain future,” Brown said in a statement. “But make no mistake, from Modoc to Imperial County, rain is not in the forecast and every Californian must be doing their utmost to conserve water.”

Meanwhile, water conservationists continue to urge Governor Brown to implement more severe steps, including mandatory rationing.

Calif. Orders First-Ever Mandatory Water Cuts Amid Drought

Law360, Los Angeles (April 1, 2015, 6:35 PM EDT) -- California Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday issued the first-ever mandatory water restrictions in the state's history, ordering cities and towns to reduce water usage by 25 percent as California confronts severely dry conditions for the fourth year in a row.

Brown announced his executive order in the Sierra Nevada, which is experiencing its lowest snowfall ever recorded, according to a statement from the governor's office. He said the new measures &mdash which also include enforcement to prevent wasteful water use and investments in new technologies &mdash will save about 1.5 million acre-feet of water over the next nine months.

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California's drought needs strong action from leadership, right now

SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 19: California Gov. Jerry Brown (C) speaks during a news conference to announce emergency drought legislation on March 19, 2015 in Sacramento, California. As California enters its fourth year of severe drought, California Gov. Jerry Brown joined Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de Leon, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, Republican Leaders Senator Bob Huff and Assemblymember Kristin Olsen to announce emergency legislation that aims to assist local communities that are struggling with devastating drought. The $1 billion package is designed to expedite bond funding to help ensure that all Californians have access to local water supplies. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Gov. Jerry Brown and the leaders of both parties from the Legislature have announced a $1 billion-plus plan to combat the worst effects of California&rsquos brutal four-year drought. But the clear limitations of the package &mdash it&rsquos got very little new money and even fewer new ideas &mdash shows just how hard it&rsquos going to be for California leaders to fight the demands of nature.

The bulk of the proposal is about speeding up water projects that already have voter-approved bond funding. The biggest chunk of money &mdash $660 million from a 2006 flood control bond measure &mdash will go to flood protection, not even drought relief. Brown acknowledged that he was &ldquotaking advantage of the crisis&rdquo to speed these projects and added that floods might come as a result of heavy rains after the drought.

All true &mdash but for now, we&rsquore thirsty, and the actual drought package is only about $121.6 million. It goes to very worthy causes &mdash emergency drinking water for hard-hit communities, food assistance (including for farmworkers), irrigation assistance and wildlife protection.

But if the state&rsquos dry spell continues &mdash as many experts predict it will &mdash it won&rsquot be nearly enough. Sacramento leaders acknowledge that the package is just a small step &mdash the question is, when will they step up and do more?

Last week, the State Water Resources Control Board passed conservation restrictions that will, among other things, limit outdoor residential watering to twice a week. The board is trying to step up enforcement of previous restrictions that have gone largely unheeded (most local governments aren&rsquot fining residents who flagrantly violate the rules), and the governor surely could pound the bully pulpit to make sure they are.

In addition to putting the squeeze on residents, the state is going to have to address industrial water guzzlers &mdash the agricultural, oil and ranching industries. That&rsquos going to be a big fight with national repercussions &mdash now is the time to begin.

All of the state&rsquos leaders have promised &ldquomore&rdquo action if things continue to get worse, and this package is a good start. But parts of California have already gone dry. How much worse does this have to get?

What’s That Smelt?

Like Fiorina and Nunes, many blame green extremists — especially the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Sierra Club — groups continually hammering California with litigation and government lobbying for more than two decades. Their efforts have paid off in laws, regulations, and settlements that siphon off hundred of billions of gallons of water annually for environmental causes and wildlife refuges.

Their posterchild is the delta smelt, a three-inch minnow declared endangered in 1993. Environmentalists claim massive water diversions are necessary to maintain water levels, temperature, and salinity necessary for these and various other California fish species to survive.

Spurred by green propagandists, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued a 2008 “biological opinion” blaming water pumps used to irrigate central and southern California for declining populations of smelt. Central Valley farmers countered with a lawsuit pointing to the faulty data and specious conclusions in the FWS study, but to no avail. “To protect smelt from water pumps, government regulators have flushed 1.4 trillion gallons of water into the San Francisco Bay since 2008,” writes Allysia Finley in the Wall Street Journal. “That would have been enough to sustain 6.4 million Californians for six years.”

Instead, it has sustained only drought. As central and southern California transform into a dust bowl, smelt populations have continued to plummet. FWS found a single smelt in its spring trawl survey this year, prompting farmers to demand that the species be declared extinct, allowing them to once again pump water to their parched land. “California fruits and vegetables are sent all over the world,” Republican state Assemblyman Travis Allen told Fox News. “When we are diverting our water to save a few pinky-sized fish and leaving hundreds of thousands of acres fallow — there is something wrong with our priorities.”

Yet even without delta smelt, eco-extremists have plenty of ammunition. “We have 80 fish species in California, like the delta smelt, that are in trouble,” Dr. Peter Moyle of UC Davis told Fox News. “There are other species deserving of protection.”

For example, the 2006 San Joaquin River Restoration Program ensures massive water diversions to create salmon runs. FWS bolstered the program in 2009 with another green-initiated “biological opinion” that the Chinook salmon are at “high risk” of extinction. The state estimates the program has already cost taxpayers more than $1.2 billion. Is the expense justified? “The salmon, which have not been in the river for more than half a century,” explains Nunes, “have proven so incapable of sustaining themselves that agents have resorted to plucking them out of the water and trucking them wherever they are supposed to go.” And while they campaign for the salmon, these absurd environmentalists “also champion protections for the striped bass, a non-native species that eats both salmon and smelt.”

For that matter, none of these fish are indigenous to the San Joaquin Delta. “The entire Delta system is not natural at all. It’s a man-made network of islands that functions only thanks to upstream water storage projects,” Nunes points out. “In fact, without man-made storage projects, canals and dams, in dry years such as this the rivers would quickly run dry meaning there would be no water and no fish.”

He reports the toll of California’s misguided environmental policies to be that 70 percent of water runoff from the Sierra Nevada ends up in the Pacific Ocean at the expense of the state’s farmers and residents. During the first three years of drought, California “flushed 652 billion gallons into the ocean due to the aforementioned biological opinions, which have prevented the irrigation infrastructure from operating at full capacity,” laments Nunes.

Mixed Reaction To Governor’s Budget

Sacramento, CA — Lawmakers are weighing in with their opinions concerning the Governor’s proposed $122 billion dollar budget.

As reported earlier today, Governor Jerry Brown announced his budget. He touted that his proposal increases funding for education and helps build up the rainy day fund. There is also a one-time sum of $323 million in drought funding to be used for protecting water supplies, conserve water and provide emergency assistance to farm workers, fish and wildlife. Additionally, the plan targets $2 billion to go toward infrastructure improvements, the money coming from a new $65 fee on all vehicles. His proposal calls for changes to gasoline and diesel taxes to generate $1 billion annually.

Two Republican Mother Lode legislators, State Senator Tom Berryhill and Assemblyman Frank Bigelow commended Brown for the drought and wildfire disaster funding, which will help Butte Fire survivors. Bigelow stated, “I am pleased the Governor has recognized the catastrophic loss the Butte Fire caused Calaveras and Amador counties. In his budget proposal released today, the Governor allocated state general funds to provide relief to Butte Fire victims, including backfilling local tax revenue losses.”

However, both criticized Brown’s proposal for increasing taxes to repair infrastructure. Sen. Berryhill stating, “I remain disappointed that the governor prefers additional taxes to repair roads and bridges, rather than prioritizing more of our general fund dollars on that task. We had a $10 billion dollar budget surplus last year, revenues are predicted to be even higher this year, and yet he continues to insist on tax increases. Maintaining a solid and safe transportation infrastructure should be more of a priority.” Bigelow added that a top priority should be building water storage through the voter approved Proposition 1 water bond, which includes $2.7 billion for new storage, a better investment in California’s future.

Board of Equalization Vice Chair George Runner remarked, “During this time of additional revenue…I’m concerned that the boost in revenue will cause many lawmakers to clamor for more spending. The last thing we need to do right now is mirror past mistakes that led to prior budget crises.”

Praising the Governor’s further investment in education, the state’s top educator, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson remarked, “Schools are making great progress with the extra resources from Proposition 98 and Proposition 30. Schools are reducing class sizes, adding programs in the arts and many other subjects, and continuing to upgrade teaching of math, science and English. We need to make sure these extra revenues keep flowing so schools can continue their momentum.”

Of note, Sen. Berryhill’s office provided this list of Butte Fire funding in the proposed budget, which he indicated are still being analyzed:

  • $1.9M going to both Lake & Butte fire victims to backfill tax revenue loss (at this point we aren’t sure how that will get divided)
  • $267,000 directly to Calaveras to cover local Cal Fire costs
  • A rumored overall $719M drought pot that will also go to fire relief & suppression. Again, we aren’t sure how that will get divvied out.

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Commentary: Droughts and Not Enough Water, California’s Silent Crisis

By Richard Rubin.

California is known as earthquake country but nature poses more insidious threats which can go undetected until too late. Among them are the recurrent droughts and chronic lack of water.

“……so far the proposals coming out of Sacramento and emulated by water districts across the state call for stricter conservation, including expanding water storage facilities, more effective groundwater management, digging wells, greater recycling and more efficient irrigation systems.”

If this remains the principal focus of our efforts, little will have changed.

Not to pour cold water on these worthwhile initiatives, but if we are searching for long-term solutions to the persistent shortages as well as emergencies during periods of severe drought, these are not all-purpose panaceas.

The simple fact is that when there is insufficient rain our ability to perform the numerous activities dependent on an uninterrupted supply of nature’s most essential ingredient diminishes greatly while demand increases.

The last drought—which was historic— and declared officially over April 2017—is by now a fading memory as most reservoirs are filled to capacity thanks to abnormal snowfall and generous amounts of rain the past winter.

But as the atmosphere heats up this could just a harbinger of longer waiting times between heavy rain cycles and the ensuing droughts.

We cannot predict when the next dry spell is coming but come it will, and mandatory rationing could once again be the only line of defense.

Conservation which calls for ongoing, long-term sustainable water supplies and better water management is imperative, but it may not be sufficient when Mother Nature gets other ideas.

The State Water Policy Plan unveiled in 2014, mid-way through Gov. Jerry Brown’s third term in response to the most recent drought emergency that lasted five years was a laudable but in retrospect anemic response.

It included a call for 20% reductions in water usage which when ignored resulted in the imposition of a 25% reduction— viewed as punitive to the majority of law-abiding water users.

Soon after, the state unveiled a $1 billion “drought relief plan” with a mere $100 million earmarked for long-term supply needs.

Prompting the emergency declaration in April 2015, snowfall was at an eye-popping 5% of normal well below the total for the same month in 1991 generally accepted as the state’s lowest yield ever averaging 18%.

Lawns turned brown, gardens withered cars went unwashed and numerous slow-flush toilets were acquired. City water spigots were turned off drying up fountains mainly to the dismay of thirsty pigeons citizens took shorter showers and businesses cut back on tap water.

These were minor inconveniences compared to what thousands of farmers in the Central Valley and Southern California experienced who were forced to make drastic crop reductions.

According to one report the state’s agribusiness industry stood to lose $9.6 billion annually as a result of the drought and water restrictions. 17,000 jobs were reported lost in 2015 alone.

Many of these farmers and ranchers have yet to recover and it put a big dent in California’s economy which relies heavily on the $46 billion generated annually by agribusiness.

This could be just a prelude to what comes next in the face of inadequate water and rising demand.

No other element has such universal applications: food supplies, industrial needs, municipal services, electricity requirements, housing development, labor demands, wetlands restoration, fish and wildlife preservation, fire prevention and recreational uses, to name just some.

Emergency declarations and hasty improvisations are routine when other measures fail.

As droughts become more frequent and perhaps longer lasting (along with wildfires and floods) because of climate change—California water planners will need more than research studies with little innovative content.

Governor Newsom appears to be paying attention.

As one of his first decisions it was announced that he had relieved Felicia Marcus, the so-called “water Czar” as Chair of the powerful State Water Resources Control Board after serving less than three years.

The board sits atop of at least eight state agencies involved in water planning which by itself is an invitation to meaningless turf wars.

Governor Brown created the Interagency Drought Task Force which had a limited focus. Some saw his action as a means of avoiding the more challenging and increasingly bitter controversy involving the diversion of water from the Sacramento water basin to farmers and water-starved communities in the South.

The debate over the pros and cons of a single Delta tunnel vs. a twin tunnel approach which Brown favored and Newsom has now nixed continues.

Resolving it will not be easy but it is essential if the state is going to enunciate a sensible water allocation policy that can satisfy farmers, businesses, city dwellers, housing developers and poorer communities that lack safe, affordable drinking water.

The task force was mainly a stop-gap measure, intended more to quell public anxiety than to tackle the myriad water policy issues that bedevil a state with a continually growing population..

Innovational thinking was not a priority, but this may be changing.

In April, Newsom issued an Executive Order demanding state agencies review and come up with plans to address the state’s chronic water shortages, contaminated drinking water, unaffordable water rates and the declining health of rivers and lakes.

With overwhelming consensus in the scientific community declaring climate change an existential threat which could wreak havoc throughout the world in the decades to come, the consequences of inaction cannot be ignored.

The fierce weather-related, wind-driven firestorms that devastated so many California communities less than two years ago, was a stark reminder that nature will always have the upper hand.

In this slowly unfolding climate-driven drama, the need to guarantee a sustainable water supply is overdue.

Last year in California and Its Water I wrote, “While we are preparing for the distinct likelihood that low-coastal regions from San Diego to the Oregon border will become more vulnerable as sea levels rise…..the bigger concern is finding enough of it and stable supplies for a steadily growing population.”

We are doing a reasonably good job on the demand side through water reclamation, recapture and storage, habitat restoration, better water management, recycling, and voluntary conservation.

However, we are not paying enough attention to the supply side by invoking newer technologies surmised as long ago as Aristotle and the ancient Greeks.

One of the most promising is desalination, a water treatment method which uses water filtered by reverse osmosis, a process that removes contaminants to create safe drinking water while also providing sufficient supplies essential for construction of new housing and for spurring business development.

At present, desalination is being successfully employed in over 120 countries to serve daily needs.

With 3,427 miles of tidal shoreline and 74 percent of the California population living in coastal counties, and along numerous brackish water rivers and lakes, California is a perfect candidate for desalination.

A giant desalination facility in Carlsbad just south of Los Angeles built by the Poseidon Resources Corporation to the tune of a whopping $1 billion went on line in 2016. Tapping into the Pacific, it remains the largest and most technologically advanced energy-efficient seawater plant in the nation.

On a daily basis it delivers 50 million gallons (56,000 acre feet of water per year)—enough to give 400,000 San Diego County residents, about 10%, all the potable water it needs! That is more than half the population of San Francisco.

Another similarly sized Poseidon Plant is in late stage development in Huntington Beach which will serve Orange County. Plans for both it and the Carlsbad facility were launched in 1998 but held up for decades by questionable permitting issues and regulatory delays.

As of now there are 10 desal plants at different stages of development in the state and 11 more on the drawing boards with the goal of having all of them fully activated by 2025.

This may be overly-ambitious since even much smaller scale projects can take 7 to

10 years from concept to completion and would require a huge injection of state funds we have seemed unwilling so far to spend.

Disappointingly we learn there is only a total of $14 Million Awarded in Grant Funding for Water Desalination Projects out of the state’s 144 billion budget for 2019-2020!

In January California water officials approved $34.4 million in grants to eight desalination projects across the state, including one in the East Bay city of Antioch.

This however is not new money. It comes from Proposition 1, the state water bond passed by the voters in 2014 during the height of the drought crisis.

The biggest stumbling blocks are up-front capital investment which can run into many millions, consumer fees, the high usage costs, and regulatory barriers.

Most concerning are the high energy costs which the state and water agencies could take big steps toward mitigating by increasing investments in solar, wind, wave and geothermal renewables.

In addition to the critical task of averting the ravages of future wild fires and coastal flooding, attending to the state’s water needs is the highest priority.

Bureaucratic reshuffling is not the answer. Fresh ideas creative financing and partnering with the private sector are required.

Governor Newsom has an opportunity to become the true champion over climate change and as the guarantor of a secure water future. It should not be wasted.

Attorney Richard Rubin has taught at the University of San Francisco, Berkeley and Golden Gate University, is a regular columnist for the Marin Independent Journal and was Chair of the California Commonwealth Club Board of Governors, 2017-2019.

California’s Grand Plan to Fight Climate Change on the Farm

California lawmakers move toward paying farmers to adopt climate-smart practices.

Read more about


While El Niño rains have brought some relief to drought-stricken California, Governor Jerry Brown appears to be concerned with the impact extreme weather could continue to have on agriculture in the state. His 2016 budget proposal includes almost $3.1 billion for programs that address climate change and the allotment for agricultural programs jumped from $15 million in 2015 to $100 million.

In fact, said Jeanne Merrill, Policy Director of the California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN), protecting the nation’s food supply might be the central reason for the dramatic increase. “I think the governor is concerned with food security,” she told Civil Eats. The more farmers can combine their efforts to mitigate the current problems by reducing the worst greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on the farm, she added, “the better we are at maintaining a secure food system. ”

The suite of proposed agricultural programs include existing strategies such as methane digesters on dairy farms, and new ones, like the Healthy Soils Initiative, which aims to increase soil organic matter and carbon sequestration. They would all receive an unprecedented allotment of funds from the state’s cap and trade program, which allows large GHG-emitting businesses in California to buy and sell allowances beyond the state-wide cap. According to CalCAN, there is currently $1.7 billion in cap-and-trade funds that have yet to be allocated.

So why the remarkable increase? Merrill points to a landmark 2012 study from the University of California at Davis that made a compelling argument for the value of climate-smart farming practices, and showed—among other things—that more GHG emissions were released from urban land than irrigated farmland. She adds that the state’s land trust and conservation communities have also rallied behind sustainable agriculture and helped inform decision makers about the undeniable connections between farming and climate change.

But most supporters of the proposed budget aren’t too concerned about why the change is happening—they’re just glad to see that it is.

Changes Ahead for Farmers

On a grassy hillside north of San Francisco, a large tarp covers a holding pond at the Straus Dairy and traps methane from liquid manure. The gas is then pumped to a combustion engine and fuels a generator that creates electricity to power the entire dairy . The company has been generating electricity through this low-impact system since 2004.

There are at least 20 methane digesters like Straus’s on dairy farms throughout California. If the proposed budget is approved by the legislature, $35 million more could go toward helping create these kinds of projects, which the company’s founder and CEO Albert Straus believes are the most efficient way to turn animal waste into renewable energy and prevent methane, a potent GHG, from entering the atmosphere. These systems can also prevent animal waste from seeping into the water table as excess nitrates and entering the atmosphere as nitrous oxide.

“I don’t think there’s more of a case to be built,” he said. “There’s plenty of information out there to justify having digesters on all dairies in California.”

Judith Redmond grows organic fruit and vegetables in the Capay Valley at Full Belly Farm. She and her business partners have been in the business since 1989 and, in 2006, she was heartened by the passage of the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32), which called for a dramatic reduction in GHG emissions in California. Although she quickly realized agriculture “wasn’t really at the table.”

As a member of the CalCAN Advisory Board, she has since worked with other farmers, ranchers, researchers, and government agencies like the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), to create the Healthy Soils Initiative, the newest program to be included in the 2016 proposed budget.

If Brown’s budget is approved, $20 million will go directly to farmers who adopt or expand on management practices—such as applying compost and the use of cover crops—which help contain soil nutrients, sequester carbon, and decrease greenhouse gases. Given the lineup of supporters, including the state’s secretary of agriculture and the head of the CDFA, Redmond is optimistic that the budget will pass.

“We have not always been able to muster our political power very strategically,” she said of the sustainable agriculture community. “This is an example of a time that we have and it’s great for us to celebrate.”

State moves forward on plans for new reservoirs

The Colorado River provides water for seven western states and Mexico. Heavily overallocated and ravaged by years of drought, the river is also under growing strains due to climate change.

Water (Photo: STAR FILE PHOTO)

California took a big step Friday toward launching a new multibillion-dollar wave of reservoir construction.

After being accused of being overly tightfisted with taxpayer dollars, the California Water Commission released updated plans for allocating nearly $2.6 billion in bond fundsapproved by voters during the depths of the drought. The money will help fund eight reservoirs and other water-storage projects, including the sprawling Sites Reservoir in the Sacramento Valley and a small groundwater "bank" in south Sacramento County.

In its new blueprint, which remains tentative, the Water Commission nearly triples the amount of money it will spend compared to a preliminary allocation it put out in February.

More about California's water problems:

With climate change expected to diminish the Sierra Nevada snowpack, the new reservoirs are seen as a way of bolstering California's ability to store water. Sites, a $5.2 billion project straddling the Glenn-Colusa county line, and the $2.7 billion Temperance Flat reservoir east of Fresno, would become the two largest reservoirs built in Californiasince Jerry Brown's first stint as governor in the 1970s.

"The entire commission is eager to get all of this money out the door and fund these projects as fast as possible," said Armando Quintero, the commisson's chairman. The agency will hold hearings in early May and make its final determination in July.

The money comes courtesy of Proposition 1, a water bond approved by voters in 2014. Local water agencies promoting 11 different projects applied for a share of the money, but in early February the Water Commission declared that most of them weren't eligible for nearly as much funding as they requested. The applicants were deemed eligible for a total of just $942 million, about one-fifth of what they wanted and considerably less than what's available.

The result was instant controversy. Lawmakers and others said the commission was thwarting the will of the voters one legislator appeared at a commission meeting dragging a child's red wagon full of petitions demanding the money be spent in full. The protests peaked amid concern that another drought was coming, although late-spring storms have eased some of those fears.

On Friday, the commission said eight projects now are considered eligible for almost $2.6 billion in total. That roughly matches the amount of available dollars. (Voters authorized $2.7 billion in spending, but the pot shrinks to just under $2.6 billion because of bond-finance costs and other expenses.)

What changed since February? The commission says the applicants have done a better job of making their case for the funds.

Although the bond was touted in large part as a drought-relief measure, the rules governing Proposition 1 say the state's dollars can't be used for water storage. The funds can only go toward the elements of a project that would provide "public benefits" such as flood control, recreation and — especially — improvements to the environment.

In the initial analysis, the Water Commission said most of the applicants didn't adequately spell out their public benefits and what they're worth financially. That left the project proponents struggling for a response.

For instance, proponents for Sites Reservoir, which would feed off the Sacramento River and hold twice as much water as Folsom Lake, have argued that it would create a much-needed pool of cold water to support the region's dwindling Chinook salmon population. But the water agencies promoting Sites have struggled to prove the monetary worth of the additional fish.

"Tell me what the dollar value is of a returning salmon with any accuracy," Jim Watson of the Sites Project Authority said in February.

After weeks of back and forth with Sites officials, the Water Commission's staff has agreed the project is eligible for $933 million in Proposition 1 dollars, up from $662 million originally earmarked.

Joe Yun, the Water Commission's executive officer, said more explicit project proposals benefited Sites and other applicants. "They've provided the information we needed to substantiate the benefits," Yun said.

The staff gave Sites additional credit for extra water it could deliver in summer for the nearly-extinct Delta smelt. But the dollars are still well short of the $1.4 billion the reservoir's backers are seeking, and Sites Project Authority Chairman Fritz Durst said in a prepared statement that "we think there is still room for discussion."

Temperance Flat, on the San Joaquin River, was completely shut out in the Water Commission's initial analysis. Now it's eligible for $171 million in funding, out of $1 billion requested. The reservoir is expected to cost nearly $2.7 billion.

A small groundwater bank proposed by the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District is eligible for $244 million, up slightly from its initial allocation.

Two Bay Area projects that originally had been denied any Proposition 1 money now are in line for funding. Expansions of Los Vaqueros Reservoir in Contra Costa County and Pacheco Reservoir east of Gilroy have been slated to received $400 million each.

The Climate Guide To Governors

Climate denial runs rampant in the halls of Congress, with over 58 percent of congressional Republicans refusing to accept the reality of basic climate science. A new analysis from the CAP Action War Room reveals that half of America&rsquos Republican governors agree with the anti-science caucus of Congress.

Climate-Progress: GovernorsEdit Fifteen out of twenty nine sitting Republican governors openly deny climate science despite the overwhelming level of scientific consensus and enormous cost to taxpayers. None of the country&rsquos Democratic governors have made public statements denying climate change.

The nation&rsquos governors are categorized into four groups below. Green governors not only accept climate change science but are proactively implementing policies to fight climate change and prepare their states for the impacts of extreme weather. Orange governors either accept climate science or have not openly denied it but also have not yet taken serious action to help their state prepare for its impacts. If a governor has made no public statement on climate science, has not taken action, or has openly objected to federal safeguards that help blunt the impacts of climate change, they are placed in the red category. Governors who deny the science behind climate change are added to the red &ldquoClimate Deniers&rdquo category, further marked by striped lines.

This guide will be updated as new information arises.



Governor Jerry Brown (D)

California Governor Jerry Brown (D) has made climate change a primary focus of his administration as he enforces AB 32, the state&rsquos cap-and-trade system. In 2013, he signaled he would not wait for Congress to act on climate by joining the leaders of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia in signing the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy, which aims to unite their efforts in combating climate change. He also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China&rsquos top climate negotiator that pledges to work together on sharing low-carbon strategies and create joint ventures on clean energy technologies. In order to expand renewable energy, Brown signed pioneer legislation that allows customers of the state&rsquos three largest utilities to purchase up to 100 percent clean energy. He&rsquos also signed multiple clean energy bill packages into law and expanded the Renewable Portfolio Standard to make California&rsquos standard among the most aggressive in the country. While he has signed legislation into law that allows fracking in California, the law imposes strict regulations on the oil and gas industry, including requiring companies to disclose which chemicals they use in the fracking process. Governor Brown is running for re-election in 2014.


Governor Dan Malloy (D)

Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy (D) believes climate change is one of the most challenging and pressing issues of our time. As Governor, he created the Connecticut Shoreline Resiliency Fund, a low-interest loan program for state residents who are subject to coastal flooding and would like to elevate their homes. He signed into law the nation&rsquos first full-scale clean energy finance bank to increase private investment in renewables and expanded Connecticut&rsquos Renewable Portfolio Standard to help move the state away from dirtier fuels. Governor Malloy is running for re-election in 2014.


Governor Jack Markell (D)

As Governor of Delaware, Jack Markell (D) has been outspoken about his acceptance of mainstream climate science. When commenting on the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Markell said, &ldquoThere are still people who may say this storm or that storm is not related to general climate change. I can tell you when we had a number of communities flooded out in Delaware&hellipand when you have leading scientists talk about the linkage between climate change and that flooding, people are in a position where they may more be receptive to listen.&rdquo Markell has worked to expand renewable energy in the state, signing into law a Clean Energy Jobs package that expanded Delaware&rsquos Renewable Portfolio Standard and strengthened the solar net metering program. Along with the Governor Martin O&rsquoMalley of Maryland, Markell asked the federal government to contract for future offshore wind energy in order to help start the offshore wind energy manufacturing industry in the Mid-Atlantic region.


Governor Neil Abercrombie (D)

&ldquoBeing the only island state in the country, we are especially vulnerable to climate change and are on the frontlines of impacts like sea level rise,&rdquo said Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie (D) when he signed legislation into law to establish an interagency committee to develop a sea-level rise vulnerability and adaptation report. While Hawaii was already one of the most attractive markets for solar power, the governor signed legislation into law in 2013 to establish a green infrastructure financing program, which allows residents to invest in clean energy. Abercrombie also praised the president&rsquos new Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants. Governor Abercrombie is running for re-election in 2014.


Governor Martin O&rsquoMalley (D)

Governor Martin O&rsquoMalley (D) stated that he believes climate change is real. He signed into law legislation that cut the state&rsquos carbon pollution by 25 percent by 2020. &ldquoFor our prosperity, for our current and future generations, and for the health of our State, which is so vulnerable to rising sea levels, we must take action on climate change now &mdash not later.&rdquo He boosted Maryland&rsquos Renewable Portfolio Standard, enacted an initiative to create 100,000 new green jobs, and signed the EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Act that established targets on energy consumption. In 2013, the Maryland House of delegates handed O&rsquoMalley one of his most desired legislative victories &mdash enactment of a bill that would fund the development of a wind farm in federal waters off the coast of Maryland. O&rsquoMalley later vetoed a bill that would have &ldquoeffectively killed&rdquo the wind farm from being developed and has also reached out with Delaware Governor Markell to ask the federal government to buy future offshore wind energy. Governor O&rsquoMalley is term-limited and cannot seek re-election in 2014.


Governor Deval Patrick (D)

While speaking at a college graduation ceremony, Governor Deval Patrick (D) highlighted the National Climate Assessment, how climate change is already effecting New England, and went on to lay out the steps Massachusetts has taken over the 15 years to cut carbon emissions, invest in clean energy, and adapt to climate change. He then proposed something big &mdash &ldquoMassachusetts should finally end all reliance on conventional coal generation.&rdquo He called for a &ldquofuture free of fossil fuels&rdquo and hopes to drop coal in four years. As governor, he has allocated funding for measures to protect the state against sea level rise and destructive storms, signed one of the most aggressive greenhouse gas emission targets for any single state, and boosted renewable energy enough for the state to achieve its 10-year goal four years early in 2013. Governor Patrick is eligible to seek a third term but has stated he will not run for re-election in 2014.


Governor Mark Dayton (D)

Governor Mark Dayton (D) agrees the climate is changing and having impacts on Minnesota. Minnesota Public Radio reported that in response to a question about climate change, Dayton said the state&rsquos strategy should include an eventual elimination of coal-burning power plants as Minnesota needs to move toward less-polluting sources of energy, such as wind and solar. He said the availability and price of natural gas makes it possible to set a goal of getting rid of coal as a source of electricity. In 2013, Dayton signed an economic development bill that contained several powerful incentives for solar development in the state. Governor Dayton is running for re-election in 2014.


Governor Maggie Hassan (D)

Governor Maggie Hassan (D) has said &ldquothe science behind climate change is incontrovertible,&rdquo and in 2013, signed two bills into law to help lessen the impact of climate change in New Hampshire. The bills aim to give more power to state and local governments to prepare coastal communities for sea-level rise, and include the creation of a new Coastal Risk and Hazard Commission. She also signed into law two bills that strengthen New Hampshire&rsquos participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) by lowering the carbon pollution cap for power plants. Governor Hassan is running for re-election in 2014.


Governor Andrew Cuomo (D)

In an op-ed, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) said that climate denial is distracting us from addressing its inarguable effects. In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Governor Cuomo outlined a plan on how New York could start to prepare for the impacts of climate change by investing federal disaster aid on items like high-tech weather stations and seals for entrances to subway stations. He announced more than 1,000 projects that will better prepare the state for storms, which includ rebuilding tidal wetlands, upgrading the electrical grid, and buying homes that are at a high risk of flooding. He has also proposed revised rules to further reduce pollution from power plants by lowering the emissions cap under the nine-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). In February 2014, Cuomo announced the opening of the New York Green Bank, which will &ldquostimulate private sector financing and accelerate the transition to a more cost-effective, resilient and clean energy system.&rdquo He also launched the NY-Sun Initiative, which aims to double the amount of customer-sited solar power installed annually. Cuomo has committed $1 billion to the program over 10 years. Governor Cuomo is running for re-election in 2014.


Governor John Kitzhaber (D)

Governor John Kitzhaber (D) has called climate change a &ldquocentral issue of our time.&rdquo In 2013, he signaled he would not wait for Congress to act on climate by joining the leaders of California, Washington, and British Columbia in signing the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy, which aims to unite their efforts in combating climate change. Kitzhaber signed a bill into law that preserved the state&rsquos successful Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and in 2012, created a 10-Year Energy Action Plan to boost renewable fuels and reduce greenhouse gas pollution. After realizing he would not be able to convince the legislature to keep Oregon&rsquos clean-fuels program, he ordered a stricter fuel requirement to move forward anyway. He also put himself at odds with the president when he challenged the administration&rsquos policy of supporting increases of exports of American coal because of the consequences it would have on climate change. Governor Kitzhaber is running for re-election in 2014.


Governor Lincoln Chafee (D)

Governor Lincoln Chafee (D) signed an executive order in early 2014 to create the Rhode Island Executive Climate Change Council (ECCC) &mdash &ldquoI am establishing the Council because for too long there has been strong evidence and scientific consensus that manmade greenhouse gases will have profound effects on global climate, weather patterns and ocean conditions effects that the state cannot afford to ignore,&rdquo Governor Chafee said. &ldquoRhode Island must act boldly to position the state as a national leader in climate adaptation with a comprehensive approach that will benefit our communities and businesses.&rdquo The council will advise the governor on best practices to ensure the state continues to be a leader in developing strategies to combat the impacts of climate change. A few months later, the legislature passed a bill making the council permanent, and Chafee signed it. In order to support clean energy, Chafee&rsquos office has announced grants to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and made significant investments in offshore wind developments. Governor Chafee is eligible for re-election in 2014 but has decided to retire.


Governor Peter Shumlin (D)

&ldquoWe will not join the others in the denial, in the pretend, in the &lsquolet business happen as usual,&rsquo because our kids and our grandkids mean more to us than our own greed,&rdquo Governor Shumlin (D) said in 2011. &ldquoAnd we&rsquore going to get off oil and move forward as quickly as we know how.&rdquo Governor Shumlin has worked to expand solar net metering, signed into law the nation&rsquos first ban on fracking, and has openly stated his opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline. Governor Shumlin is running for re-election in 2014.


Governor Jay Inslee (D)

Governor Jay Inslee (D) has said the science is clear &mdash climate change is happening and the state of Washington has already experienced negative economic impacts. As his first official act as governor, he wrote a letter to a clean energy company inviting it to relocate to Washington. In 2013, he joined the leaders of California, Oregon, and British Columbia in signing the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy, which aims to unite their efforts in combating climate change. Signaling he would not wait for Congress to act, Inslee signed an executive order in early 2014 that creates a task force on reducing carbon pollution and directs it to design a &ldquocap-and-market&rdquo program to meet emission reduction goals. The directive also orders state agencies to eventually eliminate the use of coal, spur development and the use of renewable energy, and develop a &ldquosmart building program&rdquo to increase energy efficiency. Inslee also asked the Obama administration to review the climate change consequences of leasing and exporting Western coal, saying it will be the &ldquolargest decision we will be making as a state from a carbon pollution standpoint.&rdquo



Governor Mike Beebe (D)

&ldquoGlobal warming is a growing concern that requires study and action on both state and federal levels,&rdquo said Governor Mike Beebe (D) when he announced the Governor&rsquos Commission on Global Warming in 2007. The Commission studies how climate change will have an impact on Arkansas. He has since suggested the need for balance between environmental concerns and economic interests, and that a unilateral approach to climate change would be fruitless. Beebe has been a big supporter of wind power and has spoken out against Congress for failing to extend the Production Tax Credit for wind electricity. Governor Beebe is term-limited and cannot seek re-election in 2014.


Governor John Hickenlooper (D)

Colorado Governor Hickenlooper has a record of flip-flopping on his climate science beliefs. In 2010, he said he didn&rsquot think the scientific community had decided that climate change is as catastrophic as so many people think, and in 2013, he seemed to accept the science more, though still showed some doubt: &ldquoEvery study I&rsquove seen, climate change is happening. I&rsquom not saying it absolutely is, but if climate change is happening, every study I&rsquove seen puts Colorado in what&rsquos called a rain shadow, so not only does it get warmer, so we get less snowpack, but we&rsquore going to get less water.&rdquo Hickenlooper did spearhead efforts and signed into law first-of-their-kind limits on methane &mdash a potent climate pollutant &mdash from oil and gas production. As a former petroleum geologist, he&rsquos been a big supporter of the oil and gas industry in Colorado. He appointed an industry campaign donor to oversee the oil industry. In 2012, he appeared in paid advertising supporting the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, an industry lobby and trade group which has a history of fighting health and safety standards. He has even drank fracking fluid to prove there was no risk to human health. Hickenlooper has also developed a troubling record of opposing protections for at-risk wildlife in oil and gas producing areas, including the lesser prairie chicken, the Gunnison sage grouse, and the Greater sage grouse. Despite his close ties with the fossil fuel industry, Hickenlooper has been a proponent of renewable electricity, and signed a bill that doubled the renewable power target for rural electric cooperatives. Governor Hickenlooper is running for re-election in 2014.


Governor Pat Quinn (D)

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) agrees there is a link between people and climate change. In response to the EPA&rsquos proposed Clean Power Plan for coal-fired power plants, Governor Quinn said, &ldquoI commend President Obama for confronting this critical issue. Illinois has seen the devastating impacts of severe weather first-hand with 11 natural disasters over the past five years. Moving toward a cleaner, more reliable and resilient energy system will bring significant benefits to our communities and our state.&rdquo In 2013, Governor Quinn signed legislation into law to regulate fracking, which was seen as the nation&rsquos strictest for oil and gas drilling. Illinois is the nation&rsquos fifth-largest producer of coal and the governor has cheered the state&rsquos record coal exports. While he has signed legislation to boost the coal industry, including allowing the coal industry to mine in the state&rsquos largest park, he has also vetoed legislation that would have moved forward with a coal gasification plant slated for an already heavily polluted area of Southeastern Chicago. Governor Quinn is running for re-election in 2014.

Governor Terry Branstad (R)

Republican Governor Terry Branstad believes that climate change is happening but has expressed hesitation on acting. &ldquoWe need to recognize this climate change issue is a global issue,&rdquo he told to Politico. &ldquoWe also need to respect as we try to deal with that on an international basis the need for our country to be competitive and be able to attract good-quality, high-paying jobs. I think we&rsquove got to be open at looking at all kinds of things we can do to be energy independent and also keep our energy costs reasonably low,&rdquo he added. As governor, he has been a big proponent of the state&rsquos burgeoning wind industry, even reprimanding fellow Republicans who are against supporting the industry. Along with North Dakota, Iowa now uses wind power for more than 25 percent of its total electricity production, the most in the nation. Yet with regard to the president&rsquos plan to regulate carbon pollution from existing coal-fired power plants, a spokesman for the governor said he is concerned the EPA&rsquos &ldquolatest unilateral, ideological action&rdquo will hurt Iowa consumers and cost jobs. Governor Branstad is running for re-election in 2014.


Governor Steven L. Beshear (D)

&ldquoMy administration recognizes the need to address greenhouse gas emissions from all sources and has supported a diversified energy portfolio, including measures to improve energy efficiency, expand use of renewables, and promote carbon capture and storage and other low-carbon technologies,&rdquo said Governor Steven Beshear (D). In 2013, he created the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, which will develop a plan to address climate change. He stood up to climate deniers and signed into law Next Generation Science Standards, which provide standards for science education that include the teaching of climate science and evolution. While he has been outspoken about acting on climate, Beshear joined six other governors in urging the president to drop proposed EPA rules to limit carbon pollution from coal plants.


Governor Rick Snyder (R)

Governor Rick Synder (R) ran on a strong conservation platform, earning him a 2010 endorsement from the Michigan League of Conservation Voters (LCV). A spokesman for the governor said the administration is convinced climate change is real, but also showed some doubt on why it occurs: &ldquoPeople may not agree about why climate change is happening, but it is certainly affecting Michigan.&rdquo The governor spoke out against a 2012 ballot measures that would have required the state&rsquos utilities to generate 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025, saying he had concerns about the financial viability of using wind, solar, hydropower, and biomass to meet Michigan&rsquos energy needs. Towards the end of 2013, the governor indicated that his goal is to have a more comprehensive energy plan in place by 2015 that includes a reduction in coal-fired power and an increase in fracking and renewable energy. Michigan LCV issued a Midterm Report Card for 2011&ndash2012 and gave Snyder a &ldquoC&rdquo rating, saying they&rsquove seen both positive and negative policies adopted by his administration. Governor Snyder is running for re-election in 2014.


Governor Jay Nixon (D)

Speaking on CNN&rsquos Crossfire, Governor Jay Nixon (D) said, &ldquoWell, first of all we need to accept the science of climate change and understand we&rsquove got to change the world. And we all have a joint responsibility to do things to make that better.&rdquo In early 2014, Nixon signed an executive order launching the development of a comprehensive energy policy for Missouri. The Democratic governor has also endorsed the Keystone XL pipeline.


Governor Steve Bullock (D)

Governor Steve Bullock said climate change is real: &ldquoIn Montana, whether you&rsquore a farmer, whether you&rsquore a fisherman &hellip you know that the climate is changing and we need to do something about it.&rdquo Governor Bullock has opposed any federal pollution limits on fracking, arguing states are capable of regulating the oil and gas industry, and endorsed the Keystone XL pipeline, which would greatly exacerbate carbon pollution. He has also defended the state&rsquos Renewable Energy Standard and signed legislation into law that would expand renewables in the state.


Governor Brian Sandoval (R)

Asked if he believes climate scientists that humans are the main drivers of climate change, Governor Brian Sandoval (R) told Real Clear Politics, &ldquoI&rsquom not qualified to answer that question.&rdquo He added, &ldquoLet me tell you what we&rsquove done, without getting to whether it&rsquos human-caused or whatever that may be.&rdquo Sandoval signed legislation into law that shifts the state away from coal by eliminating &ldquo800 megawatts of coal-fired power generation&hellip[and] mandates 350 megawatts of renewable energy development,&rdquo according to the Las Vegas Sun. In the interview with Real Clear Politics, he also expressed that the state will be ready to meet the new EPA standards for existing coal-fired power plants. Sandoval also signed into law a bill aimed at studying an unconstitutional plan to seize federal public lands in Nevada for state management, an idea that that is well outside the mainstream among Western voters. Governor Sandoval is running for re-election in 2014.


Governor Chris Christie (R)

Governor Chris Christie (R) flip-flopped on climate change throughout his tenure as governor. In 2011, he acknowledged the effects humans have on climate change, but in 2013, he rejected the notion that Hurricane Sandy&rsquos damage was worsened by climate change. A New Jersey appeals court ruled that the governor illegally withdrew the state from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) back in 2011, a Northeast cap-and-trade program that aims to collectively reduce carbon pollution from power plants. He also broke from other Northeast states and did not join the lawsuit to defend the EPA&rsquos cross-state air pollution rules. His administration has been accused of going to extraordinary lengths to secure approval for a controversial gas pipeline that would benefit a top Christie political operative who was also enmeshed in the George Washington Bridge scandal. The governor has signed legislation into law that increased the number of solar renewable energy credits that electric utilities must buy. In 2010, Christie signed into law a bill that aims to facilitate offshore wind power, but his administration has recently been accused of stalling the projects.

Governor John Kasich (R)

&ldquoI am a believer &mdash my goodness I am a Republican &mdash I happen to believe there is a problem with climate change. I don&rsquot want to overreact to it, I can&rsquot measure it all, but I respect the creation that the Lord has given us and I want to make sure we protect it,&rdquo Governor John Kasich (R) said at an energy conference hosted by The Hill. In 2012, he pushed a major rewrite of Ohio&rsquos energy policies that in his words, accounted for newly accessible shale gas and embraced Ohio&rsquos renewable energy and efficiency targets as &ldquovital to the state&rsquos economy.&rdquo In June 2014, he signed a bill passed by the state legislature that would freeze the Renewable Energy Standard, despite its popularity among Ohioans and industry. In 2011, he also signed a bill 70 percent of Ohioans opposed that opened up state parks and other public lands to drilling and fracking. Governor Kasich is running for re-election in 2014.


Governor Terry McAuliffe (D)

&ldquoThe first big decision is to accept climate change is real,&rdquo Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) said. &ldquoI believe humans contribute to climate change. I think it&rsquos pretty much settled. I think the impacts are felt today.&rdquo The governor plans to reactivate a climate change commission to advise him on how to protect Virginia, as the Hampton Roads area has been named the second-most vulnerable place to sea-level rise in the nation. In response to the economic struggles the coal industry has deal with in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe said carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology was the answer, calling jobs in CCS-equipped coal plants the &ldquojobs of the future.&rdquo He is the only Democrat to join a coalition of governors supporting efforts to open the outer continental shelf to oil and gas exploration.


Governor Robert Bentley (R)

Governor Robert Bentley (R) hasn&rsquot taken a strong position on climate in the past few years, but in 2010 he said, &ldquoNow, carbon emissions, I do think, probably play a role in climate changes. I do scientifically agree with that and I do think we have to look for ways to reduce carbon emissions.&rdquo In 2012, Bentley declined to say why he signed a bill banning the UN Agenda 21 Sustainability Program, making Alabama the first state to ban the environmental treaty aimed at increasing sustainable living despite the fact it has no force of law in the United States. Bentley has joined a coalition of governors supporting efforts to open the outer continental shelf to oil and gas exploration and in 2014, he expressed interest in his State of the State speech to develop the state&rsquos highly polluting tar sands oil. Governor Bentley is running for re-election in 2014.


Governor Sean Parnell (R)

While Alaska Governor Sean Parnell (R) agrees that climate change is occurring and that &ldquoboth human and natural elements, like volcanic eruptions, are responsible,&rdquo he has actively blocked efforts to combat climate change, even dismantling a state climate panel that former Governor Sarah Palin (R) established to develop ways &ldquoAlaskans can save energy and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.&rdquo In 2010, the state of Alaska, along with trade groups like the Chamber of Commerce, filed a lawsuit challenging the EPA&rsquos ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, which Parnell called &ldquofederal overreach.&rdquo More recently, Parnell touted a lawsuit filed by Alaska to allow drilling in polar bear habitats, calling it &ldquodisappointing and disturbing&rdquo that the Obama administration does not want to look for oil in the polar bear breeding ground. A former ConocoPhillips executive, Parnell has long represented Big Oil&rsquos interest in Alaska. In 2012, he met with CEO&rsquos of Exxon Mobil, BP, and ConocoPhillips for a meeting the AP called &ldquovirtually unheard-of,&rdquo to develop a strategy for promoting oil development in the state. He has also sought to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for drilling and has called on the Obama administration to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Governor Parnell is running for re-election in 2014.


Governor Bobby Jindal (R)

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) has never said if he believes the science that climate change is real, here, and due to human activities. ClimateProgress reached out for a comment, but did not immediately hear back from the governor&rsquos office. Jindal has demanded the EPA rescind its determination that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that in his letter he said the agency was attempting to avoid proper review of new rules by Congress and public input into the rules. A long-time ally of the oil and gas industry, Governor Jindal signed a bill that would kill a New Orleans area flood authority&rsquos lawsuit against 97 oil and gas companies. Three former Louisiana governors, State Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, more than 100 legal experts, and a number of environmental groups and state politicians urged Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal not to sign the bill, which could undermine other lawsuits against oil and gas interests in Louisiana, including claims against BP over its 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster. Last year, environmental groups pointed out that Jindal had received more than $1 million from oil and gas companies and executives in state election campaigns between 2003 and 2013.


Governor Phil Bryant (R)

Governor Phil Bryant (R) has never said if he believes climate change science. ClimateProgress reached out for a comment, but did not immediately hear back from the governor&rsquos office. Bryant wrote to President Obama urging him to back off from an April 2012 Environmental Protection Agency proposed rule that would set a limit on 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide released for every megawatt of power generated by coal fired power plants, according to BussinessWeek. He also joined a coalition of governors supporting efforts to open the outer continental shelf to oil and gas exploration.


Governor Dave Heineman (R)

Governor Dave Heineman (R) has never said whether he believes scientists that climate change is occurring or if humans contributes to it. ClimateProgress reached out for a comment, but a spokeswoman for Governor Heineman did not respond to the question. Heineman cancelled a controversial legislative study on the effects of climate change in Nebraska, saying the work would be duplicative of a study done by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He approved a revised route for the Keystone XL pipeline, which supporters have said would avoid the environmentally-sensitive Sand Hills region of Nebraska. However, a Nebraska District Court Judge declared a rule that gave Heineman the power to approve pipeline routes unconstitutional. The governor has appealed that decision. Governor Heineman is term-limited and cannot seek re-election in 2014.


Governor Jack Dalrymple (R)

North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple (R) has never stated whether he believes climate change is underway. ClimateProgress reached out for a comment, but did not immediately hear back from the governor&rsquos office. Dalrymple has been outspoken about his opposition to limits on carbon pollution, stating: &ldquoThe president&rsquos plan [to reduce carbon pollution] means higher energy costs for consumers and businesses, weakened U.S. competiveness in global markets and increased unemployment at a time when the economy is still struggling.&rdquo In a state that relies on coal for 87 percent of its electricity generation, the governor has emphasized his concerns that coal plants are being singled out.


Governor Nikki R. Haley (R)

Governor Nikki Haley (R) has never stated if she believes climate change is underway. ClimateProgress reached out for a comment, but did not immediately hear back from the governor&rsquos office. Haley has criticized the EPA&rsquos rule to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants, saying, &ldquoThis is exactly what we don&rsquot need. This is exactly what hurts us. You can&rsquot mandate utility companies which, in turn, raises the cost of power. That&rsquos what&rsquos going to keep jobs away. That&rsquos what&rsquos going to keep companies away.&rdquo She added that officials in Washington &ldquostay out of the way,&rdquo according to The Charleston Post and Courier. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources also kept quiet a report by a team of state scientists that outlined serious concerns about the damage the state will suffer due to climate change. Governor Haley is running for re-election in 2014.


Governor Bill Haslam (R)

Governor Bill Haslam (R) has never stated if he believes climate change science. ClimateProgress reached out for a comment, but did not immediately hear back from the governor&rsquos office. EcoWatch reported that Haslam is an oilman that stands to profit from petroleum and gas development in the state: &ldquoThe Haslam family of Knoxville, Tennessee has amassed a fortune from the business, Pilot Travel Centers, which the family founded in 1958. The family merged the business with Flying J in 2001 and the Haslam family continues to run the company out of Knoxville. In 2012, the Haslam family purchased Western Petroleum and Maxum Petroleum. Both companies are among the nation&rsquos major suppliers of fuel to the gas drilling and fracking operations in the U.S. The Haslam family will also start installing natural gas fueling pump stations to some of the corporation&rsquos fueling stations. In 2013, they plan to have 100 truck stops capable of fueling 18-wheelers with liquefied natural gas.&rdquo Though he weakly protested the veto-proof passage of a bill that would permit climate denial to be taught in schools, he has yet to make any major state-level pushes to address climate change. Governor Haslam is running for re-election in 2014.


Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D)

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) has not said if he believes climate scientists that human-induced climate change is real and happening now. ClimateProgress reached out for a comment, but did not immediately hear back from the governor&rsquos office. He has, however, spoken out against standards that will help combat climate change and its impacts. He has long said the White House is waging a &ldquowar on coal&rdquo and met with Obama administration officials prior to the release of federal Clean Power Plan to urge the EPA to be flexible. Despite the EPA&rsquos promise to allow flexibility for states, the governor spoke out at a press conference against the rule, saying it was &ldquooutrageous&rdquo and that the state&rsquos &ldquoworst fears were realized.&rdquo Coal is one of West Virginia&rsquos primary economic resources. Tomblin also sued the EPA over its denial of new mountain top removal mining permits in the Appalachian region, stating the EPA had &ldquooverstepped its bound.&rdquo


Governor Scott Walker (R)

Governor Walker (R) has never said if he believes climate change is occurring. ClimateProgress reached out for a comment, but did not immediately hear back from the governor&rsquos office. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that little has been done to combat climate change under his administration. &ldquoAfter an intense focus on climate change under Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, Republican Gov. Scott Walker and the GOP-controlled Legislature have devoted little attention to such issues&hellip Shortly after taking office in 2011, Walker canceled plans to burn renewable biomass at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.&rdquo He has spoken to the Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank that denies climate science, and has tried to ban wind-powered energy from Wisconsin and exacerbate the state&rsquos dependence on out of state coal. Governor Walker is running for re-election in 2014.



Governors Jan Brewer (R)

A climate-denier, Governor Jan Brewer (R) said, &ldquoEverybody has an opinion on it, you know, and I probably don&rsquot believe that it&rsquos man-made. I believe that, you know, that weather and certain elements are controlled maybe by different things.&rdquo In 2010, she signed a bill that bars new state rules or regional agreements to reduce greenhouse gases unless the legislature approves. In 2011, Brewer opted out of the Western Climate Initiative, a multi-state attempt to limit greenhouse gases, despite recognizing that their greenhouse gas pollution was expected to rise. A spokesman for the governor said she objects to the president&rsquos Clean Power Plan, saying the EPA has overstepped its authority. As governor, she has worked to expand renewables in the state, particularly solar energy. She also vetoed a bill that would turn over 25 million acres of public lands to the state, which was consistent with Arizona voters views. Governor Brewer is term-limited and cannot seek re-election in 2014.


Rick Scott (R)

In 2010, Governor Rick Scott (R) was asked if he accepts climate science. He said &ldquono &hellip I have not been convinced.&rdquo Asked what he needs to convince him, &ldquoSomething more convincing than what I&rsquove read.&rdquo He still dodges the question by stating &ldquoI&rsquom not a scientist&rdquo and hasn&rsquot been vocal in addressing sea level rise since the National Climate Assessment came out in May 2014. He denied requests from the New York Times to be interviewed on the subject, but told WPBF there was &ldquoabsolutely&rdquo work being done on the state level to protect Florida from the effects of climate change. Gov. Scott&rsquos beachfront property is in the path of sea level rise projections in the state, putting the governor in &ldquoone of the most vulnerable positions&rdquo in regards to rising waters, the Tampa Bay Times reported. The governor&rsquos $9.2 million Naples mansion sits about 200 feet away from the ocean and a foot above sea level, and the sea on his stretch of beach has risen about 8 or 9 inches over the last century. Governor Scott is seeking re-election in 2014.


Governor Nathan Deal (R)

Governor Nathan Deal (R) previously served in the House of Representatives, where he filed a &ldquoclimategate&rdquo petition against the EPA finding that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare. Rep. Deal, along with energy companies, industry front groups, and other Republican politicians, sued the EPA in an attempt to block the agency from limiting greenhouse gases. Their argument was that climate science is a hoax. As governor, he has never stated his position on climate change. ThinkProgress reached out for a comment, but did not immediately hear back from the governor&rsquos office. Deal said he is wary of requiring utilities to expand solar power and that green energy comes with trade-offs on reliability and cost. Governor Deal is seeking re-election in 2014.


Governor C.L. &ldquoButch&rdquo Otter (R)

In a letter addressing the president&rsquos climate change plan, Governor C.L. &ldquoButch&rdquo Otter said: &ldquoAnd while the degree and extent to which carbon emissions play a role in climate change is still debatable, the fact that Idaho is significantly impacted by the federal government&rsquos actions and inactions is not.&rdquo The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Governor Otter &ldquo&hellipcomplained about the federal government&rsquos doublespeak on energy. He blamed vehicle fuel-efficiency standards for devastating wildfires, carbon emissions from those fires, declining transportation-tax revenues in the states, and for ruining salmon runs.&rdquo Governor Otter is running for re-election in 2014.


Governor Mike Pence (R)

When asked if he accepts climate change science, Governor Mike Pence (R) responded, &ldquoI don&rsquot know that that is a resolved issue in science today&hellipjust a few years ago we were talking about global warming. We haven&rsquot seen a lot of warming lately. I remember back in the 70&rsquos we were talking about the coming ice age.&rdquo He has also been outspoken in opposing the Clean Power Plan, saying the president&rsquos proposal to cap carbon from fossil-fuel power plants will have a &ldquodetrimental impact&rdquo on Indiana and cause electricity price spikes. Governor Pence also refused to either sign or veto a bill that would end Indiana&rsquos state-wide energy efficiency program, which by default, became law.


Governor Sam Brownback (R)

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (R) has flip-flopped on his acceptance of climate science. In 2007, as a U.S. Senator, he said that &ldquowe need to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere,&rdquo but in 2009 he embraced the &ldquoclimategate&rdquo scandal, writing in a letter with fellow Republicans that climate science research is &ldquodriven more by a political agenda than a quest for truth.&rdquo As governor, he has not stated if he accepts climate science. ClimateProgress reached out for a comment, but did not immediately hear back from the governor&rsquos office. Before the EPA even released their rule to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants, Gov. Brownback signed a bill that asserts Kansas will make its own decisions about how to handle carbon pollution. The bill-signing ceremony took place at a local coal plant. In response to the president&rsquos Clean Power Plan, Brownback said, &ldquoThis is more of the Obama administration&rsquos war against middle America.&rdquo The governor has supported the wind industry, defending attacks on the state&rsquos Renewable Energy Standard and praising the extension of the federal Production Tax Credit. Hailing from the same state as the Koch brothers, Brownback has received financial support from the oil and gas giants for his entire career. Governor Brownback is running for re-election in 2014.


Governor Paul LePage (R)

Maine Governor Paul LePage (R) is one of the most outspoken climate deniers, and has said that &ldquoscientists are divided on the subject.&rdquo During LePage&rsquos tenure, he has argued that Maine could potentially benefit from the effects of climate change, vetoed legislation that would help the state prepare for extreme weather, blocked a bipartisan bill to expand solar power, and has attempted to dramatically reduce the state&rsquos renewable energy standards to benefit large corporations. He also tried to sneak through a proposal that would exempt the state from certain anti-smog regulations, undoing protections that have been in place for almost 25 years. Following a critical series of articles in three Maine newspapers on the administration&rsquos work to undermine environmental protections, LePage&rsquos office cut off those papers&rsquo access to administration officials. A spokeswoman told them they would no longer respond to requests, even for public documents, because the newspaper&rsquos parent company &ldquomade it clear that it opposed this administration.&rdquo Governor LePage is running for re-election in 2014.


Governor Susana Martinez (R)

&ldquoI&rsquom not sure the science completely supports that,&rdquo is Governor Susana Martinez&rsquos (R) view on climate change science. Responding to the New Mexico Independent in 2010, she revealed that she thinks the science of climate change is an &ldquoideological debate.&rdquo While he is no longer serving, Martinez appointed a well-known climate denier to head the state&rsquos Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department. Upon taking office, she also immediately repealed the state&rsquos regulation requiring an annual 3 percent cut in greenhouse gas pollution, saying it was a burden on industry, and stopped regulations to keep oil and gas drilling waste out of groundwater that frequently supplies drinking water. Martinez did veto a provision that would have spent New Mexico taxpayers&rsquo money on an ill-conceived study of whether the state should seize federal public lands. Governor Martinez is running for re-election in 2014.


Governor Pat McCrory (R)

In a 2008 interview, then gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory (R) was asked if he believes climate change science. His response was that &ldquosome things are out of control&rdquo and that &ldquoit&rsquos in God&rsquos hands.&rdquo Since then, he has admitted the climate is changing, but still shows some doubt on how much is human-caused. Since he became governor in 2013, there have been drastic changes to the state agencies responsible for addressing climate change, including the Department of Energy and Natural Resources (DENR). The Asheboro and Randolph Courier-Tribune reported, &ldquoDENR had previously made climate change a key component in its 2009&ndash13 strategic plan. That plan included launching a climate change initiative and forming a climate change steering committee. The strategic plan cited a &lsquofierce urgency&rsquo for dealing with climate change. But with the election of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory in 2012, new leadership was also installed at many state agencies, including DENR. A DENR employee who worked on the Interagency Leadership Team plan, &lsquoClimate Ready North Carolina,&rsquo was reassigned to new duties when the current administration took over, and she said she didn&rsquot know who might be working on climate change.&rdquo Since that article was published in July 2013, DENR has removed links and documents containing information about climate change from its website. McCrory has also been very outspoken about his desire to open up more land and even the coast of North Carolina, a popular tourist destination that fuels the coastal economy, to drilling operations. He joined a coalition of governors that support drilling in the outer continental shelf and signed a law that lifts the state&rsquos moratorium on fracking permits.


Governor Mary Fallin (R)

Before her 2013 &ldquoState of the State&rdquo speech, Governor Mary Fallin (R) was asked by reporters about climate change and whether the current drought in Oklahoma is evidence that change is occurring. She replied, &ldquoIt&rsquos just nature itself and the patterns that flow and so we&rsquore going to continue to pray for rain in the state of Oklahoma and hope we that we get some relief.&rdquo The Raleigh News and Observer also reported Fallin said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has lent &ldquoa voice of logic on climate change.&rdquo Inhofe is one of the most outspoken climate science deniers, even writing a book on the subject. In early 2014, Fallin signed a bill that would charge Oklahoma residents an additional fee if they produce their own energy through solar panels or small wind turbines, standing up for the utilities over consumers. Citing concerns for ratepayers, the governor also criticized a plan by the EPA to reduce regional haze and control pollution at three Oklahoma power plants: &ldquoIt is frustrating and disappointing that the EPA continues to move forward with a federal plan that will raise costs for ratepayers and utility companies, leave less money in the pockets of Oklahomans and push our economy in the wrong direction. The EPA&rsquos plan could drive utility rates significantly higher in the next five years, something that many citizens cannot afford, especially during a recession.&rdquo Governor Fallin is running for re-election in 2014.


Governor Tom Corbett (R)

Governor Tom Corbett (R) questions the science behind climate change: &ldquoI think some people believe that it is clearly evident and it&rsquos coming very, very quickly. I think there are others who are equally qualified that disagree with that. It&rsquos a subject of debate.&rdquo In 2011, Corbett withdrew the state of Pennsylvania from the legal defense of the EPA&rsquos endangerment finding for greenhouse gases. While he did implement a climate action plan, it was criticized as inadequate because it fails to set greenhouse gas reduction goals and fails to incentive renewable energy, according to an op-ed by Rep. Greg Vitali (D) in the Lebanon Daily News. The governor has cut funding for climate change research, has appointed climate science deniers to his administration, and has eliminated bipartisan programs that focused on renewable energy and conservation. Instead, he has moved his focus to natural gas production and the booming fracking industry in Pennsylvania. Despite coming under fire for pollution from drilling, Corbett handed authority of some of the state&rsquos most critical environmental decisions to C. Alan Walker, a Pennsylvania energy executive who has fought against environmental protections and donated $184,000 to Corbett&rsquos campaign efforts. The governor also made false job claims on behalf of the fracking industry, has been accused of trying to confuse the public with an environmentally friendly fracking agreement, and has called to lift the ban on oil and gas drilling in state parks and forests. Governor Corbett is running for re-election in 2014.


Governor Dennis Daugaard (R)

&ldquoI am skeptical about the science that suggests global warming is man-caused or can be corrected by man-made efforts. It&rsquos a complex world we live in,&rdquo Governor Dennis Daugaard (R) said in 2010. He has helped increase oil and gas production in South Dakota and supports the use of hydraulic fracturing, also known as &lsquo&lsquofracking.&rsquo&rsquo Governor Daugaard is running for re-election in 2014.


Governor Rick Perry (R)

Governor Rick Perry (R) has repeatedly questioned the science behind climate change &mdash &ldquoI think we&rsquore seeing almost weekly, or even daily, scientists that are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change.&rdquo Perry, along with energy companies, industry front groups, and other conservative politicians, sued the EPA in an attempt to block the agency from regulating climate pollution. Their argument was that climate science is a hoax. Under Perry, Texas has led the nation in carbon emissions and is home to five of the ten worst mercury emitting power plants in the country. The governor has called the EPA a &ldquoden of activists,&rdquo and in response to the Clean Power Plan, the governor said it was &ldquothe most direct assault yet on the energy providers that employ thousands of Americans.&rdquo He has criticized the administration&rsquos delay of the Keystone XL pipeline and speaking at a trade association funded by BP, Perry called the 2010 BP oil catastrophe an &ldquoact of God&rdquo and his solution to the nation&rsquos economic ills: &ldquomore oil drilling.&rdquo Governor Perry is eligible to seek a fourth term but has stated he will not run for re-election in 2014.

Governor Gary R. Herbert (R)

In 2009, Governor Gary Herbert (R) said, &ldquoI&rsquove heard people argue on both sides of the issue, people I have a high regard for. People say man&rsquos impact is minimal, if at all, so it appears to me the science is not necessarily conclusive,&rdquo on his acceptance of climate science. Herbert signed a clearly unconstitutional measure passed by the state legislature asserting that Utah can lay claim to 30 million acres of federal lands within the state&rsquos borders and appropriating $3 million in scarce state funds to fight that hopeless battle in court. He has also brought a lawsuit to gain state control of 12,000 miles of &ldquoroads&rdquo that cross federal parks, monuments, wilderness areas and red rock wonderlands managed by the federal Department of Interior &mdash many of which are nothing but cow paths and nearly invisible trails. In his 2014 &ldquoState of the State&rdquo address, the governor promised to speed the transition to Tier 3 vehicle and fuel standards, a move that &ldquowould lower the sulfur content of gasoline from 30 parts per million to 10 parts per million and require cleaner-burning emission controls on all new vehicles.&rdquo Herbert also asked the state air quality board to limit wood burning in high air pollution areas, and said he would require less auto travel and more mass transit travel by state employees.


Governor Matthew Mead (R)

Governor Matthew Mead (R) is a climate science denier: &ldquoAs we flew in a snowstorm tonight I was thinking about global warming,&rdquo Mead joked. &ldquoI think the world generally accepts this phenomenon. I&rsquom skeptical. In part, I&rsquom skeptical because I think people need to be skeptical when it comes to where we are in science.&rdquo He&rsquos called efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions a &ldquowar on coal&rdquo and criticized the EPA rule to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants. He has also emphasized the limitations of renewable energy sources: &ldquoRenewables aren&rsquot going to get you there,&rdquo he said. &ldquoThe reason I don&rsquot think we should [have a state renewable policy] is because, as the nation&rsquos largest exporter of energy, I think that it should be more voluntary.&rdquo It&rsquos not surprising he is a fossil fuel booster, as he presides over a state that ranks #1 in coal production, #5 in natural gas production, and #8 in crude oil production. Wyoming was also the first state to reject new national science education standards after Mead approved a state budget that blocked them. That decision was based in part on lawmakers&rsquo concerns that the standards teach climate change as a scientifically-accepted occurrence. Finally, Mead spoke at an event hosted by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative group known for making model legislation that has been used to target renewable energy standards. Governor Mead is running for re-election in 2014.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850120,000 1,400.0%
1860379,994 216.7%
1870560,247 47.4%
1880864,694 54.3%
18901,213,398 40.3%
19001,485,053 22.4%
19102,377,549 60.1%
19203,426,861 44.1%
19305,677,251 65.7%
19406,907,387 21.7%
195010,586,223 53.3%
196015,717,204 48.5%
197019,953,134 27.0%
198023,667,902 18.6%
199029,760,021 25.7%
200033,871,648 13.8%
201037,253,956 10.0%
Sources: 1850–2010 U.S. Census [2]
* The 1850 statistics are corrected for lost
census data in San Francisco, Santa Clara
and Contra Costa Counties.
California Indians were not counted
before the 1870 census.

California is now the most populous state in the United States. If it were an independent country, California would rank 34th in population in the world. California has had waves of immigration and emigration over the years. The first big wave was the California Gold Rush starting in 1848 of miners, businessmen, farmers, loggers, etc. as well as their many supporters.

There were fewer than 10,000 females in a total California population (not including Native Americans who were not counted) of about 120,000 residents in 1850. About 3.0% of the gold rush Argonauts before 1850 were female or about 3,500 female Gold Rushers, compared to about 115,000 male California Gold Rushers. Massive immigration from mostly other states continued throughout the nineteenth century. [3] [4] California did not reach a "normal" male to female ratio of about one to one until the 1950 census. California for over a century was short on females.

The 1900 census showed emigrations down to "only" a 20% growth rate. The early 1900s showed a massive population increase of over 60% between 1900 and 1910. The population more than doubled again in the next 20 years by 1930. Foreign immigration largely ceased during the Great Depression, as immigration to the United States was held to a low of 23,068 per year by 1933, and many foreign workers were deported. There were not enough jobs to go around. After World War II and the Great Depression, there was a rapidly increasing buildup of United States workers in California as wartime industries boomed. Most of these workers were from other states as they settled in California and increased the California population to 10,586,223 by 1950. Immigration to the United States only started to increase significantly in 1946, when immigration to all of the United States was back up to 108,721 per year [3] The continuing prosperity and emigration from other states and immigration from other countries in the 1950s and 1970s almost doubled the California population again to 19,953,134 by 1970. The 1970–2010 population growth has still been substantial but has slowed to "only" about a 15% growth rate per decade. By 2010 the California population growth rate slowed slightly to 10%.

Earthquakes in California are common occurrences since the state is traversed by six major strike-slip fault systems with hundreds of related faults, many of which are "sister faults" of the infamous San Andreas Fault that runs nearly the full length of California at the juncture of the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate. The fault systems include the Hayward Fault Zone, Calaveras Fault, Clayton-Marsh Creek-Greenville Fault, and the San Gregorio Fault. Significant blind thrust faults (faults with near vertical motion and no surface ruptures) are associated with portions of the Santa Cruz Mountains and the northern reaches of the Diablo Range and Mount Diablo. The California earthquake forecast gives a rough estimate of where the main earthquake zones in California are. Earthquake damage depends on what area is hit, how close to the surface the center of the earthquake is located, and its magnitude. Earthquake damage, for a given magnitude earthquake, to human structures depends on how well the buildings are built and what the structures are located on. Buildings on soft or filled-in soil suffer the most because they feel shock waves most strongly. Buildings on bedrock suffer less damage because the ground is firmer. Sometimes the ensuing fires, floods or tsunamis caused by the earthquake are often where the greatest damage occurs.

The 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck the city (then the largest in California) and nearby communities at 5:12 a.m. on Wednesday, April 18, 1906. [5] Devastating fires broke out in the city that lasted for several days, destroying about 28,000 buildings. As a result of the quake and fires, over 3,000 people died [6] and over 80% of San Francisco was destroyed. The death toll from the earthquake and resulting fire is the greatest loss of life from a natural disaster in California's history.

The most widely accepted estimate for the magnitude of the earthquake is a moment magnitude (Mw) or Richter magnitude (ML) of 7.8 [7] however, other values have been proposed, from 7.7 to as high as 8.25. [8] Shaking was felt from Oregon to Los Angeles, and inland as far as central Nevada. [9]

The San Francisco 1906 earthquake was caused by a rupture on the San Andreas Fault, a continental transform fault that forms part of the tectonic boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate. The fault is characterized by mainly lateral motion where the western (Pacific) plate moves northward relative to the eastern (North American) plate. The 1906 rupture propagated both northward and southward from its epicenter for a total of about 300 miles (480 km). [10] The San Andreas Fault runs the length of California from the Salton Sea in the south to Cape Mendocino to the north, a distance of about 810 miles (1,300 km). The earthquake ruptured the northern third of the fault for a distance of about 300 miles (480 km). The maximum observed surface displacement was about 20 feet (6.1 m) however, geodetic measurements show displacements of up to 28 feet (8.5 m) in some places. [11] The most recent analysis by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) shows that the most likely epicenter of the 1906 earthquake was very near Mussel Rock on the coast of Daly City, an adjacent suburb just south of San Francisco. [12]

A strong foreshock preceded the mainshock by about 20 to 25 seconds. The strong shaking of the main shock lasted about 42 seconds. The shaking intensity as described on the Modified Mercalli intensity scale reached VIII in San Francisco and up to IX in areas to the north like Santa Rosa, where destruction was devastating. There were decades of minor earthquakes – more than at any other time in the historical record for northern California – before the 1906 quake. They have been widely interpreted subsequently as precursory activity to the 1906 earthquake. [13]

Significant California earthquakes
Earthquake Magnitude Fatalities
1906 San Francisco 7.8 3,000+ 1
1925 Santa Barbara 6.3–6.8 13
1933 Long Beach 6.4 115
1952 Kern County 7.3 12
1971 San Fernando 6.6 65
1989 Loma Prieta 6.9 63
1994 Northridge 6.7 60
1. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake caused
so much damage that the authorities "lied"
about the number of casualties. Subsequent
research has shown that about 3,450 were
"known" to have died. Some more were shot
for looting. [ citation needed ]

Due to a widespread practice by insurers to indemnify San Francisco properties from fire, but not earthquake damage, most of the destruction in the city was blamed on the fires. Some property owners deliberately set fire to damaged properties in order to claim them on their insurance. Capt. Leonard D. Wildman of the U.S. Army Signal Corps [14] reported that he "was stopped by a fireman who told me that people in that neighborhood were firing their houses… they were told that they would not get their insurance on buildings damaged by the earthquake unless they were damaged by fire. The insurance industry eventually paid out over $250,000,000 (the largest amount they paid out for the next 60 years) which significantly helped to rebuild the city." [15] Building standards of the original 1906 buildings had almost no earthquake resistance built in. Since 1906 earthquake standards have been steadily upgraded as damages caused by earthquakes are investigated. Unfortunately, a lot of older buildings do not meet today's standards, and it would typically cost too much to upgrade them. It was discovered in 1906 (again) that all masonry-type structures built of brick and un-reinforced concrete are resistant to fire but not earthquakes. [16] A detailed analysis of the city of San Francisco today estimates that an earthquake over 7.0 magnitude would completely destroy or seriously damage many sections of San Francisco and could possibly result in thousands of deaths. [16] Today in most communities, structures built to later earthquake standards would do well in all but the strongest earthquakes. The water mains and other infrastructure needed for fighting fires have all been upgraded but are yet untested.

California pioneers after 1848 discovered an increasing number of oil seeps—oil seeping to the surface, especially in Humboldt, Colusa, Santa Clara, and San Mateo counties, and in the asphaltum seeps and bituminous residues in Mendocino, Marin, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz counties. In Southern California, large seeps in Ventura, Santa Barbara, Kern, and Los Angeles counties received the most attention. [17] Interest in oil and gas seeps was stirred in the 1850s and 1860s, becoming widespread after the 1859 commercial uses of oil were demonstrated in Pennsylvania. Kerosene quickly replaced whale oil for lighting, and lubricating oils became an essential product in the Machine Age. Other uses later in the 19th century included providing paving material for many roads and providing power for many steam locomotives and steam-powered shipping—replacing coal.

Oil became a major California industry in the 20th century with the discovery of new fields around Los Angeles and the San Joaquin Valley, and the dramatic explosion in demand for gasoline to fuel the rapidly growing number of automobiles and trucks now being produced. Most of the oil production in California began in the late 19th century. [18] At the turn of the century, oil production in California continued to rise at a booming rate. In 1900, the state of California produced 4 million barrels. [18] In 1903, California became the leading oil-producing state in the US, and traded the number one position back and forth with Oklahoma through 1930. [19] Production at the various oil fields increased to about 34 million barrels per year by 1904. By 1910 production had reached 78 million barrels. California drilling operations and oil production are concentrated primarily in Kern County, the San Joaquin Valley, and the Los Angeles Basin.

As of 2012, California was the nation's third most prolific oil-producing state, behind only Texas and North Dakota. In the past century, California's oil industry grew to become the state's number one GDP export and one of the most profitable industries in California. [20]

There is also some offshore oil and gas production in California, but there is now a moratorium on new offshore oil and gas leasing and drilling in California waters and a deferral of leasing in federal waters. These restrictions were imposed after a series of accidents in the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill released oil into the Pacific Ocean. [21]

In 1920, oil production in California had expanded to 77 million barrels. [18] Between 1920 and 1930, new oil fields across Southern California were being discovered with regularity, including Huntington Beach in 1920, Long Beach and Santa Fe Springs in 1921, and Dominguez in 1923. [18] Southern California had become the hotbed for oil production in the United States.

However, the development of increased oil production in California had consequences. The additional California oil fields, along with booming oil supplies in Texas and Oklahoma, put downward pressure on the price. In the 1930s the Texas Railroad Commission tried to take charge of allocating oil production among the states to keep prices from falling to a few pennies a barrel.

After a century, the San Joaquin Valley remains a major producer. The Kern County part of the valley in 2008 had over 42,000 producing oil wells that provided about 68% of the oil produced in California, 10% of the entire United States production, and close to 1% of the total world oil production. Add to that another producing 2,000 wells in Fresno County. If the valley were a state in its own right, it would rank behind Texas, Alaska, and Louisiana as the fourth largest oil producer state in the country.

California oil production in 2005 [22]
State Barrels/day
Louisiana 1,463,000
Texas 1,331000
Alaska 894,000
San Joaquin Valley
Oklahoma 177,000
New Mexico 171,000

The San Joaquin Valley is also home to 21 giant oil fields that have produced over 100 million barrels of oil each, with four "super giants" that have produced over 1 billion barrels of oil. Among these "super giants" are Midway-Sunset, the largest oil field in the lower 49 United States, and Elk Hills, the former United States Naval Petroleum Reserve.

Natural gas Edit

In 2012 the state was the 13th largest producer of natural gas in the United States, with a total annual production of 248 billion cu feet of gas. [23] Today natural gas is the second most widely used energy source in California. About 45% is now burned in gas-fired plants for electricity generation the proportion increases as coal-burning plants are phased out and nearly all new plants are powered by natural gas. One of the main advantages of natural gas is that it only produces about 55% as much CO2 as coal for the same amount of electricity produced. About 9% of the natural gas is used in facilitating the extraction of more oil and gas. Another 21% is used for residential space and water heating, cooking, clothes drying, etc. 9% is used for commercial building and water heating, and 15% is used in industrial use. [24] California imports about 85% of its natural gas, using six large gas pipelines from Texas, New Mexico and Canada.

In 1911 a new California Assembly created a new railroad commission with vastly enlarged powers and brought public utilities under state supervision. Organized businessmen were the leaders of both of these reforms. The driving force for railroad regulation came less from an outraged public seeking lower rates than from shippers and merchants who wanted to stabilize their businesses. Public utility officers spearheaded campaigns for the passage, and later the enlargement of the Public Utilities Act. They expected that state regulation would reduce wasteful competition between their companies, improve the value of their companies' securities, and allow them to escape continual wrangling with county and municipal authorities. [25]

Although the businessmen were influential in obtaining the passage of bills they wanted, no group of businessmen dominated the California legislature or the railroad commission after 1910. Legislation proposed by some businessmen was opposed by other business interests. [25] Organized labor made significant gains during the Progressive Era, but they were not a result of benevolent, middle-class reformer actions, but of powerful lobbying activity on the part of unions with their solid base in San Francisco and Oakland.

In the 1920s, most progressives came to view the business culture of the day not as a repudiation of progressive goals but as the fulfillment of it. The most important progressive victories of 1921 were the passage of administrative reorganization laws, the King Bill, increasing corporate taxes, and a progressive budget. In 1927–31, governor Clement Calhoun Young (1869–1947) brought more progressivism to the state. The state began large-scale hydroelectric power development, and began state aid to the handicapped. California became the first state to enact a modern old-age pension law. The state park system was upgraded, and California (like most states) rapidly expanded its highway program, funding it through a tax on gasoline, and creating the California Highway Patrol. [26]

California women had the right to own property in their own name since the first California Constitution in 1850. In 1911 California voters, in a special election, narrowly granted women the right to vote, nine years before the 19th Amendment enfranchised women nationally in 1920, but over 41 years later than the women of Wyoming had been granted the right to vote. Women's clubs flourished and turned a spotlight on issues such as public schools, dirt and pollution, and public health. California women were leaders in the temperance movement, moral reform, conservation, public schools, recreation, and other issues. They helped pass the 18th amendment, which established Prohibition in 1920. Initially, women did not often run for public office. [27]

California played a major role in the Progressive Movement. It was the only state where the Progressives took control of the Republican Party.

Lincoln–Roosevelt League Edit

California was a leader in the Progressive Movement from the 1890s into the 1920s. A coalition of reform-minded Republicans, especially in southern California, coalesced around Thomas Bard (1841–1915). Bard's election in 1899 as United States senator enabled the anti-machine Republicans to sustain a continuing opposition to the Southern Pacific Railway's political power in California. They helped nominate George C. Pardee for governor in 1902 and formed the "Lincoln–Roosevelt League". In 1910 Hiram W. Johnson won the campaign for governor under the slogan "Kick the Southern Pacific out of politics." In 1912 Johnson became the running mate for Theodore Roosevelt on the new Bull Moose Party ticket. [28]

By 1916 the Progressives were supporting labor unions, which helped them in ethnic enclaves in the larger cities but alienated the native-stock Protestant, middle-class voters who voted heavily against Senator Johnson and President Wilson in 1916. [29]

Political progressivism varied across the state. Los Angeles (population 102,000 in 1900) focused on the dangers posed by the Southern Pacific Railroad, the liquor trade, and labor unions San Francisco (population 342,000 in 1900) was confronted with a corrupt union-backed political "machine" that was finally overthrown following the earthquake of 1906. Smaller cities like San Jose (which had a population of 22,000 in 1900) had somewhat different concerns, such as fruit cooperatives, urban development, rival rural economies, and Asian labor. [30] San Diego (population 18,000 in 1900) had both the Southern Pacific and a corrupt machine. [31]

World War I Edit

California played a major role in terms of agriculture, industry, finance and propaganda during World War I. [32] Its industrialized agriculture exported food to the Allies, 1914–1917, and expanded again when America entered the war in 1917. After the war ended, it shipped large quantities of food to central Europe as part of national relief efforts. Hollywood was thoroughly engaged, with feature films and training films. [33] Attractive climate conditions led to the addition of numerous Army and Navy training camps and airfields. Construction of transports and warships boosted the economy of the Bay area.

Organized labor was centered in San Francisco for much of the state's early history. By the opening decades of the twentieth century, labor efforts had expanded to Los Angeles, Long Beach and the Central Valley. In 1901, the San Francisco-based City Front Federation was reputed to be the strongest trade federation in the country. It grew out of intense organizational drives in every trade during the boom around the start of the 20th century.

Employers also organized during the building trades strike of 1900 and the (San Francisco) City Front Federation strike of 1901, which led to the founding of the Building Trades Council. The open shop question was at stake. Out of the City Front strike came the Union Labor Party, because workers were angry at the mayor for using the police to protect strikebreakers. Eugene Schmitz was elected mayor in 1902 on the party's ticket, making San Francisco the only town in the United States, for a time, to be run by labor. A combination of corruption and unscrupulous reformers culminated in graft prosecutions in 1907.

In 1910, Los Angeles was still an open shop, and employers in the north threatened for a new push to open San Francisco shops. Responding, labor sent delegations south in June 1910. National organizers were sent in during a lockout of 1,200 idled metal-trades workers. Then occurred an incident that would set back Los Angeles organizing for years: on October 10, 1910, a bomb exploded at the Los Angeles Times newspaper plant that killed 21 workers.

In the decade following, the rapid growth of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW, or Wobblies) in un-unionized trades, logging, wheat farming, and lumber camps began extending its efforts to mines, ports and agriculture. The IWW came to public notice after the Wheatland Hop Riot, when a sheriff's posse broke up a protest meeting and four people died. It led to the first legislation protecting field labor. The IWW was harmed by anti-union drives and prosecution of members under the California Criminal Syndicalism Act.

The IWW was also involved in the 1923 seamen's strike at San Pedro, where Upton Sinclair was arrested for reciting the Declaration of Independence. The man who became the most prominent Wobbly of all, Thomas Mooney, soon became a cause-celebre of labor and the most important political prisoner in America.

Labor in the 1920s Edit

The Preparedness Day Bombing killed ten people and hurt labor for decades. During the 1920s, the open shop efforts succeeded through a coordinated strategy called the "American Plan". In one case, the Industrial Association of San Francisco raised over a million dollars to break the building trades strikes in 1921 that led to the collapse of the building trades unions. This employers association cut wages twice in one year, and the Metal Trades Council was defeated, losing an agreement that had been in effect since 1907. The Seamen's Union also suffered defeat in 1921.

Labor in the 1930s Edit

Labor unions Edit

Unions grew rapidly after 1935 with political and legal support from the national New Deal and its Wagner Act of 1935. The most serious strike came in 1934 along the state's ports. In May 1934, dock workers and longshoremen along the West Coast went on strike for better hours and pay, a union hiring hall and a coast-wide contract. Communists were in control of the union, the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA), led by Harry Bridges (1901–1990). [34]

On "Bloody Thursday", July 5, 1934, San Francisco was swept by bloody rioting. Striking maritime workers, pitting themselves against police, took control of much of the waterfront and warehouse areas of the city. Two workers were killed and hundreds were clubbed and gassed. The West Coast Waterfront Strike lasted 83 days, with longshoremen returning to work on July 31. Arbitration was agreed to, and it resulted in a victory for the strikers and the unionization of all West Coast ports in the United States. [34]

San Francisco in the late 1930s had 120,000 union members. Longshoremen wore union buttons on their white union-made caps, Teamsters drove trucks as unionists, and fishermen, taxi drivers, streetcar conductors, motormen, newsboys, retail clerks, hotel employees, newspapermen and bootblacks all had representation. Against 30,000 trade union members in 1933–34, Los Angeles by the late thirties had 200,000, even against a severe 1938 anti-picketing ordinance. But Los Angeles became unionized in the mass production industries of aircraft, auto, rubber, and oil, and at the yards of San Pedro. Later, drives for unionization spread through musicians, teamsters, building trades, movies, actors, writers and directors.

Farm labor Edit

Farm labor remained unorganized, the work brutal and underpaid. In the 1930s, 200,000 farm laborers traveled the state in tune with the seasons. [ citation needed ] Unions were accused of an "inland march" against landowners' rights when they took up the early effort to organize farm labor. A number of valley towns endorsed anti-picketing ordinances to thwart organizing.

In the 1933–1934 period, a wave of agricultural strikes flooded the Central Valley, including the Imperial Valley lettuce strike and San Joaquin Valley cotton strike. In the 1936 Salinas lettuce strike, vigilante violence shocked the nation. Again, in the spring of 1938, about three hundred men, women and children were driven by vigilantes from their homes in Grass Valley and Nevada City.

A 1938 ballot proposition against picketing, "Proposition #1", considered fascist by commentators for the state grange, became a huge political struggle. Proposition #1 failed at the polls. Soon, racist distinctions fell as California unions began to admit non-white members.

By the advent of World War II, California had an old-age assistance law, unemployment compensation, a 48-hour work week maximum for women, an apprentice law, and workplace safety rules.

Okies Edit

"Okies" were the 250,000 hard-luck migrants who fled the Dust Bowl and depression in Oklahoma and neighboring states in the 1930s in search of a better future. Many sought farm labor jobs advertised in the Central Valley. They were harshly disparaged at the time. Police were stationed at the Arizona line to keep them out, and the state legislature passed a law to keep them out, but it was overturned by the United States Supreme Court. [35] Historian James Gregory has explored the long-term impact of the Okies on California society. Gregory finds that most came from urban backgrounds, and one in six had been a white-collar worker. He notes that in The Grapes of Wrath, novelist John Steinbeck saw the migrants becoming active agitators for unions and the New Deal, demanding higher wages and better housing conditions. Steinbeck did not foresee that most Okies would move into well-paid jobs in war industries in the 1940s. The children and grandchildren of the Okies seldom returned to Oklahoma. They did leave the farms and became concentrated in Southern California's cities and suburbs. Long-term cultural impacts include a commitment to evangelical Protestantism (especially the Pentecostals and the Southern Baptists [36] ), a love of country music, [37] populist conservatism of the sort that boosted Reagan, and strong support for traditional moral and cultural values. [38] [39]

In the 1934 California gubernatorial election, novelist Upton Sinclair was the narrowly defeated Democratic nominee, running on the platform of the socialist End Poverty in California (EPIC) movement, a radical response to the Great Depression. Other radical movements flourished, such as the Townsend Plan for old age pension, and "Ham and Eggs", which promised "$30 Every Thursday" to everyone over age 50. Voters narrowly rejected it in 1938, and the utopians failed to enact any panaceas however, the movements did spawn a generation of activists on the left. [40]

The only way California can support its extensive population and agriculture is to store water in numerous reservoirs and use pipes, tunnels, pumps and canals to distribute it where it is needed when it is needed. Beginning before 1900, California has built extensive water projects costing many billions of dollars to store and move water where it is needed. California water comes primarily from snowfall in the Sierra Nevada in the northern part of the state during the relatively short winter from about October to March. The rest of the year typically has very little rainfall or snowfall. California weather is also prone to extended droughts that can last several years. During an average rainfall year, about 14% of the power used in California is generated by hydroelectricity. [41]

Los Angeles Aqueduct Edit

The Los Angeles Aqueduct runs from the Owens Valley, through the Mojave Desert and its Antelope Valley, to dry Los Angeles far to the south. The aqueduct project began in 1905 when the people of Los Angeles approved a US$1.5 million bond for the "purchase of lands and water and the inauguration of work on the aqueduct". [42] [43]

On June 12, 1907, a second bond was passed with a budget of US$24.5 million to fund the project. [42] [44] Construction began in 1908 and finished in 1913 while employing 5,000 workers during that period. [45] [46] [47] [48]

The Los Angeles aqueduct as originally constructed consisted of six storage reservoirs and 215 miles (346 km) of conduit. Beginning 3.5 miles (5.6 km) north of Black Rock Springs, the aqueduct diverts the Owens River into an unlined canal to begin its 233-mile (375 km) journey south to the Lower San Fernando Reservoir. [49] This reservoir was later renamed the Lower Van Norman Reservoir. Creeks flowing from the eastern Sierra are diverted into the aqueduct.

The original project consisted of 24 miles (39 km) of open unlined canal, 37 miles (60 km) of lined open canal, 97 miles (156 km) of covered concrete conduit, 43 miles (69 km) of concrete tunnels, and 12.05 miles (19.39 km) of steel siphons. To build it required 120 miles (190 km) of railroad track, two hydroelectric plants, three cement plants, 170 miles (270 km) of power lines, 240 miles (390 km) of telephone line, and 500 miles (800 km) of roads. [50] It was later expanded with the construction of the Mono Extension and the Second Los Angeles Aqueduct. [51]

The Los Angeles Aqueduct uses gravity alone to move water and to generate electricity, so it is cost-efficient to operate. [52] Finished in 1911, the Los Angeles Aqueduct was the brain-child of the self-taught engineer William Mulholland and is still in use today.

Hetch Hetchy Edit

Hetch Hetchy is a valley that lies in the northwestern part of Yosemite National Park and is drained by the Tuolumne River. Starting in about 1901, San Francisco started looking for a new supply of municipal water. Following the disastrous 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, this search intensified, and they finally chose the Tuolumne River as the "best" available water resource. The City and County of San Francisco bought most of the water rights to the Tuolumne River watershed in 1910. The Hetch Hetchy project centered on damming the main Tuolumne River as it meandered through Hetch Hetchy's wide glacial-cut valley. The river, with its source in a perpetual glacier on 13,000-foot (4,000 m) Mount Lyell, drains 650 square miles (1,700 km 2 ) of watershed of the rugged granite mountains sloping west from the Sierra Nevada crest. The Hetch Hetchy water system's goal was providing up to 400,000,000 US gallons (1.5 × 10 9 l) of water per day to San Francisco and the growing Bay Region and tap the hydroelectric power that would be generated by a dam and power stations. After a vigorous debate, the United States Congress passed the Raker Act in 1913 which authorized the building of dam(s), hydroelectricity plant and municipal water supply system inside part of Yosemite National Park. The act was signed by President Woodrow Wilson in February 1916.

A key element of the plan was a new dam and reservoir in the Hetch Hetchy Valley, but access to the area was poor, so a railroad was planned to help build the dam. The steep terrain dictated a 4-degree roadbed, roughly twice as steep as a "regular" railroad. The steep grades dictated geared-down locomotives. The first 9 miles (14 km) of the Hetch Hetchy Railroad (HHRR) were completed in 1915, and the remaining 59 miles (95 km) were completed by October 1917. Construction costs for the HHRR were about US$3 million, far less than what the city might have paid contractors to transport workers, concrete and other materials for the dam over the rough and steep terrain by 12 mule train wagons. [ citation needed ] The president of the railroad was San Francisco Mayor James Rolph, and the vice president and general manager was the construction project's chief engineer Michael O'Shaughnessy. The Hetch Hetchy Railroad was begun as a connection of the Sierra Railway at Hetch Hetchy Junction, 15 miles (24 km) west of Jamestown, and extended another 68 miles (109 km) to the Hetch Hetchy Dam (later named the O'Shaughnessy Dam after the chief engineer) site for delivery of construction workers and materials. The regular trains were supplemented by trucks converted to run on the tracks to carry unscheduled loads of men or supplies or evacuate ambulance patients. The railroad was dismantled and part of its road bed converted into a highway after the Michael O'Shaughnessy dam was completed, and the new 2,030,000-acre-foot-capacity (2.50 × 10 9 m 3 ) Don Pedro Reservoir built in 1971 flooded part of the original track line. [53]

The vast Hetch Hetchy Project undertaking created the 360,000 acre feet (440,000,000 m 3 ) Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, miles of tunnels, and a 150-mile (240 km) aqueduct to deliver the water and power lines to deliver electricity to the Bay Area. Of the many dams, reservoirs, and power plants, three were in the high country of Tuolumne County. The main dam was built in two phases. Large pipes called penstocks channeled water down the mountain to the main Moccasin Power hydroelectric plant completed in 1925 and rebuilt in 1968.

In 1923, the O'Shaughnessy Dam was completed to its initial height on the Tuolumne River, creating the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. The dam was raised 65.5 feet (20.0 m) higher to its present 430 feet (130 m) height in 1939. [54] The dam and reservoir are the centerpiece of the Hetch Hetchy Project, which in 1934 began to deliver water 167 miles (269 km) west to San Francisco and its client municipalities in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

Central Valley Project Edit

Trinity Dam was the main storage feature of the Central Valley Project (CVP) proposal to divert water from the Trinity River in northwestern California to augment water supplies in the CVP service area. In 1948, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which was responsible for the construction and operations of most CVP facilities, devised a plan of four dams and two tunnels to capture and store some of the flow of the Trinity River and transport it to the Sacramento River, generating a net surplus of hydroelectric power along the way. Trinity Dam was the main storage feature of the division, providing a stable flow to the Lewiston Dam, the diversion point for Trinity River waters into the Central Valley via the Trinity Tunnel. [55] [56] Trinity Lake was completely filled with water from the Trinity River by 1963, becoming the third largest lake in California, with 145 miles (233 km) of shoreline.

Shasta Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam [57] across the Sacramento River in the northern part of California, at the north end of the Sacramento Valley. The dam mainly serves long-term water storage and flood control in its 4,500,000-acre-foot (5.6 × 10 9 m 3 ) reservoir, Shasta Lake. The lake has 365 miles (587 km) of mostly steep mountainous shoreline covered with tall evergreen trees and manzanita. The lake's maximum depth is 517 feet (158 m). Water released from the lake generates hydroelectric power. At 602 feet (183 m) high, the dam is the ninth-tallest dam in the United States and forms the largest reservoir in California.

Shasta Dam was envisioned as early as 1919 because of frequent floods and droughts troubling California's largest agricultural region, the Central Valley. Shasta Dam was first authorized in the 1930s as a state undertaking. However, this coincided with the Great Depression, and building of the dam was transferred to the federal Bureau of Reclamation as a public works project. Construction started in earnest in 1937 under the supervision of Chief Engineer Frank Crowe. During its building, the dam provided thousands of much-needed jobs it was finished 26 months ahead of schedule in 1945. When completed, the dam was the second-tallest in the United States after Hoover, and was considered one of the greatest engineering feats of all time.

Even before its dedication, Shasta Dam served an important role in World War II, providing electricity to California factories, and it still plays a vital part in the management of state water resources. However, it has brought about major changes to the environment and ecology of the Sacramento River, and met with controversy over its significant destruction of Native American tribal lands. In recent years, there has been debate over whether or not to raise the dam in order to allow for increased water storage and hydropower generation.

Pardee Dam is a 345-foot-high (105 m) structure across the Mokelumne River on the boundary between Amador and Calaveras counties, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada approximately 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Stockton. The Pardee Reservoir impounds 210,000 acre feet (260,000,000 m 3 ) of water when it is full. [58]

Construction on the Mokelumne Aqueduct and Pardee Dam began in 1926, and by 1929 the 345-foot-high (105 m) concrete arch Pardee Dam and the First Mokelumne Aqueduct, consisting of a single pipeline, were completed. The first deliveries to the Bay Area from the 210,000-acre-foot (260,000,000 m 3 ) reservoir were made on June 23, 1929. At the time of completion, Pardee Dam was the tallest in the world (this record was surpassed one year later by Diablo Dam in Washington). In 1949, a second pipeline was built, and in 1963 the third pipeline was constructed, bringing the aqueduct to its present capacity. [59] In 1964, the second major dam and reservoir on the Mokelumne River, the Camanche Dam and 410,000-acre-foot (510,000,000 m 3 ) Camanche Reservoir, were completed below Pardee. The Mokelumne Aqueduct and dam(s), run by the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), is the primary water source for 35 communities in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, including Berkeley and Oakland. EBMUD holds water rights to almost all of the 30,000 acres (120 km 2 ) in the Mokulumne River watershed and 25,000 acres (100 km 2 ) in other watersheds. EBMUD also has an American River water right that could be sent to the Mokelumne Aqueduct through the Folsom South Canal.

The California Aqueduct is a system of canals, tunnels, and pipelines that conveys water collected from the Sierra Nevada mountains and valleys of Northern and Central California to Southern California. [60] The Department of Water Resources (DWR) operates and maintains the California Aqueduct, including the two largest pumped-storage hydroelectric plants in California, Castaic and Gianelli. Gianelli is located at the base of San Luis Dam, which forms San Luis Reservoir, the largest off-stream reservoir in the United States. The Castaic Power Plant is located at the northern end of Castaic Lake, while Castaic Dam is located at the southern end.

The aqueduct begins at the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta at the Banks Pumping Plant, which pumps from the Clifton Court Forebay. Water is pumped by the Banks Pumping Plant to the Bethany Reservoir, which serves as a forebay for the South Bay Aqueduct via the South Bay Pumping Plant. From the Bethany Reservoir, the aqueduct flows by gravity approximately 60 miles (97 km) to the O'Neill Forebay at the San Luis Reservoir. From the O'Neill Forebay, it flows approximately 16 miles (26 km) to the Dos Amigos Pumping Plant. After Dos Amigos, the aqueduct flows about 95 miles (153 km) to where the Coastal Branch splits from the "main line". The split is approximately 16 miles (26 km) south-southeast of Kettleman City. After the Coastal Branch, the line continues by gravity another 66 miles (106 km) to the Buena Vista Pumping Plant. From the Buena Vista, it flows approximately 27 miles (43 km) to the Teerink Pumping Plant. After Teerink it flows about 2.5 miles (4.0 km) to the Chrisman Pumping Plant. Chrisman is the last pumping plant before the Edmonston Pumping Plant, which is 13 miles (21 km) from Chrisman. South of the plant the west branch splits off in a southwesterly direction to serve the Los Angeles Basin. At the Edmonston Pumping Plant it is pumped 1,926 feet (587 m) over the Tehachapi Mountains. [61]

Water flows through the aqueduct in a series of abrupt rises and gradual falls. The water flows down a long segment, built at a slight grade, and arrives at a pumping station powered by Path 66 or Path 15. The pumping station raises the water, where it again gradually flows downhill to the next station. However, where there are substantial drops, the water's potential energy is recaptured by hydroelectric plants. The initial pumping station fed by the Sacramento River Delta raises the water 240 ft (73 m), while a series of pumps culminating at the Edmonston Pumping Plant raises the water 1,926 ft (587 m) over the Tehachapi Mountains. The Edmonston Pumping station requires so much power that several power lines off Path 15 and Path 26 are needed to ensure proper operation of the pumps.

A typical section has a concrete-lined channel 40 feet (12 m) at the base and an average water depth of about 30 feet (9.1 m). The widest section of the aqueduct is 110 feet (34 m), and the deepest is 32 feet (9.8 m). Channel capacity is 13,100 cubic feet per second (370 m 3 /s), and the largest pumping plant capacity at Dos Amigos is 15,450 cubic feet per second (437 m 3 /s).

The California State Water Project, commonly known as the SWP, is a water management project under the supervision of the California Department of Water Resources. The SWP is the world's largest publicly built and operated water and power development and conveyance system, providing drinking water for more than 23 million people and generating an average of 6,500 GWh of hydroelectricity annually. However, as the largest single consumer of power in the state, its net output in an "average" rainfall year is 5,100 GWh. [62]

The SWP collects water from rivers in Northern California and redistributes it to the water-scarce but populous south through a network of aqueducts, pumping stations and hydroelectric plants. About 70% of the water provided by the project is used for urban areas and industry in Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area, and 30% is used for irrigation in the Central Valley. [63] To reach Southern California, the water must be pumped 2,000 feet (610 m) over the Tehachapi Mountains—the highest single water lift in the world. [64] The SWP shares many facilities with the federal Central Valley Project (CVP), which primarily serves agricultural users. Water can be interchanged between SWP and CVP canals as needed to meet peak requirements for project constituents. The SWP provides estimated annual benefits of $400 billion to California's economy. [65]

Since its inception in 1960, the SWP has required the construction of 21 dams and more than 700 miles (1,100 km) of canals, pipelines and tunnels, [66] although these constitute only a fraction of the facilities originally proposed. As a result, the project has only delivered an average of 2.4 million acre feet (3.0 km 3 ) annually, as compared to total entitlements of 4.23 million acre feet (5.22 km 3 ). Environmental concerns caused by the dry-season removal of water from the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, a sensitive estuary region, have often led to further reductions in water delivery. Work continues today to expand the SWP's water delivery capacity while finding solutions for the environmental impacts of water diversion.

The Colorado River Aqueduct, or CRA, is a 242-mile (389 km) water conveyance in Southern California, operated by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD). The aqueduct impounds water from the Colorado River at Lake Havasu on the California–Arizona border. This water is then transferred west by pumping stations, reservoirs, and canals across the Mojave and Colorado deserts to the east side of the Santa Ana Mountains. It is one of the primary sources of drinking water for Southern California.

Originally conceived by William Mulholland and designed by Chief Engineer Frank E. Weymouth of the MWD, it was the largest public works project in southern California during the Great Depression. The project employed 30,000 people over an eight-year period and as many as 10,000 at one time. [67]

The system is composed of two reservoirs, five pumping stations, 63 miles (101 km) of canals, 92 miles (148 km) of tunnels, and 84 miles (135 km) of buried conduit and siphons. Average annual throughput is 1,200,000 acre feet (1.5 km 3 ). [67]

Davis Dam is located on the Colorado River about 70 miles (110 km) downstream from Hoover Dam. Davis Dam stretches across the border between Arizona and Nevada and impounds the Colorado River to form Lake Mohave. The United States Bureau of Reclamation owns and operates the dam, which was completed in 1951. Davis Dam is a zoned earth fill dam with a concrete spillway, 1,600 feet (490 m) in length at the crest, and 200 feet (61 m) high. The earth fill dam begins on the Nevada side, but it does not extend to the Arizona side. Instead, there is an inlet formed by earth and concrete. At the end of the inlet is the spillway. The power plant is on the Arizona side of the inlet, perpendicular to the dam. This is a very unusual design. The hydroelectric plant generates between 1 and 2 terawatt-hours of electricity annually. The plant has a capacity of 251 MW (337,000 hp), and the tops of its five Francis turbines are visible from outside the plant. The plant's hydraulic head is 136 feet (41 m). The dam's purpose is to generate hydroelectricity and regulate water releases into the Colorado River for use downstream by California, Arizona and Mexico.

Imperial Dam is a concrete slab and buttress, ogee weir structure across the Colorado River on the California–Arizona border, 18 miles (29 km) northeast of Yuma. Completed in the 1938, the dam retains the waters of the Colorado River in the Imperial Reservoir before desilting and diversion into the All-American Canal, the Gila River, and the Yuma Project aqueduct. Between 1932 and 1940, the Imperial Irrigation District relied on the Inter-California Canal, the Imperial Canal, and the Alamo River.

Imperial Dam was built to replace the Laguna Diversion Dam, built in 1901–1915, which was the first dam and reclamation project on the Colorado River. Imperial Dam was built with three sections the gates of each section hold back the water to help divert the water towards the desilting plant. Three giant desilting basins and 72 770-foot (230 m) scrapers hold and desilt the water the removed silt is carried away by six sludge pipes running under the Colorado River that dump the sediment into the California sluiceway, which returns the silt to the Colorado River. The water is now directed back towards one of the three sections which divert the water into one of the three channels. About 90% of the volume of the Colorado River is diverted into the canals at this location. Diversions can top 40,000 cubic feet (1,100 m 3 ) per second—more than 50 times the flow of the Rio Grande.

The Gila River and the Yuma Project aqueduct branch off toward Arizona, while the All-American Canal branches southwards for 37 miles (60 km) before reaching its headworks on the California border and bending west toward the Imperial Valley.

The All-American Canal is an 80-mile-long (130 km) aqueduct in southeastern California. It conveys water from the Colorado River into the Imperial Valley and to nine cities. It is the Imperial Valley's only water source, and replaced the Alamo Canal, which was located mostly in Mexico. The Imperial Dam, about 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Yuma, Arizona, on the Colorado River, diverts water into the All-American Canal, which runs to just west of Calexico, California, before its last branch heads mostly north into the Imperial Valley. Five smaller canals branching off the All-American Canal move water into the Imperial Valley. These canal systems irrigate up to 630,000 acres (250,000 ha) of good cropland and have made possible a greatly increased crop yield in this area, originally one of the driest on earth. It is the largest irrigation canal in the world, carrying a maximum of 26,155 cubic feet per second (740.6 m 3 /s). Agricultural runoff from the All-American Canal drains into the Salton Sea. The All-American Canal runs parallel to the Mexico–United States border for several miles.

The Sacramento Deep Water Ship Channel (also known as the "Sacramento River Deep Water Ship Channel" or "SRDWSC") is a canal from the Port of Sacramento to the Sacramento River, which flows into San Francisco Bay. It was completed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers in 1963. The channel is about 30 feet (9.1 m) deep, 200 feet (61 m) wide, and 43 miles (69 km) long.

The Port of Sacramento has always been a significant port on the West Coast of the United States since the 1849 California Gold Rush. It was originally served primarily by paddle steamers which carried cargo from San Francisco Bay up the Sacramento River to Sacramento. Today it receives far less traffic than larger ports and handles primarily agricultural products and other bulk goods rather than containers, which now dominate the shipping market.

Other engineering feats were the building of Hoover Dam, which though in Nevada, provides power and water to Southern California.

Another project was the draining of Tulare Lake, which during high water was the largest freshwater lake fully inside an American state. This created a large wet area amid the dry San Joaquin Valley, and swamps abounded at its shores. By the 1970s, it was completely drained, but it attempts to resurrect itself during heavy rains.

Water recycling Edit

The recycling of treated municipal wastewater has become a significant part of California's water supply. The different water agencies in California were recycling over 770,000 acre feet (950,000,000 m 3 ) as of 2009, the date of the last survey. Some of the many uses for recycled water are: golf course irrigation 7%, landscape irrigation 17%, agricultural irrigation 37%, commercial reuse of water 7%, industrial uses 7%, geothermal energy production 1%, seawater intrusion barrier via fresh water injections 7%, groundwater recharge by well injection and flotation ponds 12%, recreational impoundments 4%, and natural wetland systems/restoration 4%. [68] The stated goal is the recycling of 1,600,000 acre feet (2.0 × 10 9 m 3 ) of treated municipal wastewater.

On March 14, 2014, the State Water Board approved $800 million in financial incentives for recycled water projects. [69] These projects typically take years to get approved and built.

The Water Replenishment District of Southern California (WRD), in service since 1959, is one of the more aggressive agencies that use recycled water for their groundwater replenishment and seawater intrusion barriers. [70] To prevent seawater contamination of their groundwater, they have several sets of injection wells that inject clean water between their aquifer and the sea. This creates a local water barrier to seawater intrusion. The other mechanism is to make sure the water level is above sea level.

Well users, including municipal water users, in the WRD area pump about 250,000 acre feet (310,000,000 m 3 ) of water per year out of their aquifer. This is an "overdraft" of about 150,000 acre feet (190,000,000 m 3 ) of water over what their underground aquifer can "normally" refill. To replace this "overdraft" of water into the aquifer, they have flotation ponds that catch rain runoff water, and supplement with other water they either buy or recycle, then let the water soak into the ground (spreading water) to help replenish the water in the aquifer(s). In addition they buy Colorado River water that is shipped via the Colorado River Aqueduct, and they accept part of the treated municipal wastewater of the about 4,000,000 people in their district and treat it to additional purity and sanitation levels by using reverse osmosis and advanced filtering. Their largest tertiary water treatment facility is the Leo J. Vander Lans Advanced Water Treatment facility. The water out of this facility is better than the water that comes out of the "average" municipal water treatment facility. [ citation needed ] To finance their water recycling projects WRD charges $268 per acre-foot of water pumped out, which generates about $65,000,000/year. [71] WRD is now on a project (WIN) to enlarge their water treatment facilities to take larger quantities of treated municipal wastewater and treat enough of it that they will not have to buy Colorado River water. Overall it is estimated that this project provides over 40% of the water used in the Southern California district served by the WRD.

Among the many water recycling projects just being completed, the South Bay Water Recycling program distributes recycled water to more than 400 customers in the San Jose, area for irrigation, industrial and other purposes. In Northern California, two agencies have teamed up to develop the San Ramon Valley Recycled Water Program. Jointly sponsored by the Dublin San Ramon Services District and the East Bay Municipal Utility District, the program will provide recycled water to municipal parks, golf courses, business parks, greenbelts and roadways. The Irvine Ranch Water District has built a dual water system, which supplies recycled water to commercial high rises for use in flushing toilets and urinals. A West Basin Municipal Water District project distributes recycled water to more than 85 customers, including Chevron and Mobil refineries. Monterey County Water Recycling Projects provide recycled water for agricultural irrigation to help ease demands on an overused groundwater aquifer. The Padre Dam Water Recycling Facility was expanded to recycle 2 million gallons/day for turf irrigation at parks, golf courses and other commercial and industrial facilities.

In the San Diego region, 16 water agencies are planning to use over 32,300 acre feet (39,800,000 m 3 ) of recycled water per year in order to meet the region's water supply demand. The city of Carlsbad's new recycled water treatment and distribution system will deliver approximately 3,000 acre feet (3,700,000 m 3 )> per year of recycled water to customers located in that community. In the southern portion of San Diego County, the Otay Water District is constructing a distribution system to deliver an estimated 5,000 acre feet (6,200,000 m 3 ) per year of recycled water by 2030 purchased from the city of San Diego's South Bay Water Recycling Plant. In Southern California, the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District is using recycled water to help replenish and enhance Lake Elsinore.

The Orange County Sanitation and Orange County Water Districts are planning for treated wastewater, currently discharged into the ocean, to undergo microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet disinfection. The purified water will be equivalent in quality to distilled water and exceed all state and federal drinking water standards. The purified water will be pumped to spreading ponds near the Santa Ana River for percolation into the groundwater basin, with some injected through injection wells along the coast as a barrier to seawater intrusion. Like the WRD projects in Southern California, the Orange County Water District has amassed a long record of successfully recycling water with its Water Factory 21. [72]

Desalination projects Edit

On December 24, 2012, the San Diego County Water Authority announced they had sold $734 million worth of tax-free bonds at 4.38% interest to build the Carlsbad Seawater Desalination Project, the largest seawater desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere. The project is located near the Encina Power Station in Carlsbad, and is expected to produce about 56,000 acre feet (69,000,000 m 3 ) of water per year by 2016 when the project is completed. The plant is expected to use over 17,000 reverse osmosis racks. The project includes $80 million in San Diego Water Authority upgrades to its own facilities. A 10-mile (16 km) pipeline is being built to deliver desalinated water into its Twin Oaks Valley Water Treatment Plant near San Marcos. The developer Poseidon Resources is building the plant and pipeline in a joint venture with contractor Kiewit Shea Desalination. The project will deliver up to 50 million gallons a day of drought-proof, highly reliable water that will become a core, day-to-day resource for the region. It is projected to meet about 7% of San Diego County's demand in 2020. The total cost is projected at $1,849 to $2,257 per acre-foot. [73] [74] The additional cost of desalinating seawater will add $5 to $7 per month to ratepayers' bills—about a 10% increase.

The present (2014) drought has brought reconsideration of the Charles Meyer Desalination Facility that was built for $34 million in the early 1990s in Santa Barbara but was later essentially mothballed when the drought was over. There are early discussions about investing around $20 million more to upgrade and restart the desalination plant. They have permits to make about 3,000 acre feet (3,700,000 m 3 ) of desalinated water per year, but they will incur additional costs to pump their desalinated water to existing higher elevation reservoirs if they reactivate the plant. The projected costs (2014) were about $3,000 per acre foot.

The small city of Sand City, located on the Monterey Peninsula, struck out on its own in 2007 to develop a small desalination plant. The city partnered with California American Water for the $14 million project, which started producing 300 acre feet of freshwater a year in 2010. The cost and water are shared with other nearby small communities. [75]

California Department of Water Resource data Edit

The web site run by the California Department of Water Resources lists the present reservoir storage levels for each of California's major reservoirs. [76] Individual reservoir capacities and percent of full are given for the major reservoirs. As of April 3, 2014, they had 12,682,744 acre feet (1.5643934 × 10 10 m 3 ) of water stored, or about 65% of the 19,490,257 acre feet (2.4040878 × 10 10 m 3 ) of water they usually would have at that time of year.

California Here I . . . Go!

Mindful of these spiritual days, a purifying mix of joyfulness and sorrow as our traditions dictate, this edition will be of lesser girth than usual, but still one hopes appetizing. There is a new issue of the fortnightly gem known as National Review now ambling its way through the U.S. Postal System. It’s indeed a special issue, boasting of 20 articles about the good, the bad, and the ugly of California. See below for more, but do take some advice: If you don’t have an NRPLUS membership, which entitles you to immediate (true, electronic) access to NR, and to its archives, and to all those behind-a-paywall examples of journalistic brilliance, and so much more . . . well, you are ill-serving yourself.

Take the well-served option: Subscribe here. (Hey! There’s some big sale going on!)

More advice: Mark Antonio Wright, great American and executive editor of this enterprise, has commenced a new weekly / weekend column, dubbed “The Vitruvian Life” (Your Ignorant Correspondent initially believed it referred to a rutabaga-based diet or some other oddity, but was told “No fool — it has to do with that Da Vinci multiple-armstretching dude”).

Also please discover, if you haven’t yet, the excellent new podcast, hosted by David Bahnsen, “Capital Record.” The latest episode, featuring financial writer John Mauldin, can be heard here.





1. Red China seems to be putting on the war paint. From the editorial:

At two separate Senate hearings last month, the current head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and the nominee to replace him warned of a growing threat of a Chinese attack. It could come “in the next decade, in fact within the next six years,” said Admiral Phil Davidson. His would-be successor, Admiral John Aquilino, a few weeks later offered a similar assessment: “There are spans from today to 2045. My opinion is this problem is much closer to us than most think.”

Their grim assessments are borne out by the facts.

First, consider the extent of the Chinese military’s buildup in recent decades. Not only has the People’s Liberation Army embarked on a massive modernization drive for the past 30 years, but these efforts have been supported by an extensive whole-of-country initiative to marshal precisely the kind of resources necessary for an eventual cross-strait invasion. Even one of China’s largest ferry operators has constructed ships according to PLA specifications that could transport equipment and personnel during an amphibious assault.

2. Atlanta-headquartered Delta execs wet themselves and gets woke over Georgia’s election-reform law. Someone needs a spanking. From the editorial:

Corporations have the right to free speech. They do not have the right to obedience to all of their demands. It is high time that state-level Republicans remembered that.

A variety of factors have led to the capture of America’s major corporations by the social-justice-warrior wing of the Democratic Party. Corporate C-suites and legal and human-resources departments are increasingly staffed by products of woke university educations. The “diversity and inclusion” business sector is now itself an $8 billion a year industry. Corporate managers who are not themselves left-wing culture warriors are easily pushed around by a vocal minority of their employees or customers brandishing boycotts, lawsuits, and Twitter mobs. This is especially prevalent in sports, entertainment, and journalism, where prominent employees wield outsized public platforms.

One result is that sports leagues, Hollywood, and big business have gotten into the habit over the past decade of threatening to pull their business from states whose legislatures pass laws that do not meet the approval of the cultural Left. We have seen this pattern over and over with laws in Indiana, Arizona, North Carolina, South Dakota, and other states that addressed hot-button topics ranging from immigration to religious liberty to transgenderism to same-sex marriage. What has followed, in nearly every case, is that state governors have folded like a cheap suitcase rather than stick up for the democratic right of a free people to pass laws through their elected representatives, chosen in free and fair elections.

3. Joe has proffered a gross infrastructure bill. It needs a kick in the asphalt. From the editorial:

The infrastructure bill’s spending, spread out over eight years, would be funded by 15 years’ worth of corporate tax hikes — not only pushing the tax on corporate income from 21 to 28 percent but also imposing a wide variety of other tax schemes, from a strengthened “global minimum tax” to a minimum tax on big companies’ “book” income (which does not include, for example, deductions for investment and previous losses). Details on individual income-tax hikes, meanwhile, await Biden’s next proposal. More than likely, all these tax hikes won’t fully pay for the spending, especially if parts of the agenda are renewed when they end. But they’ll be big tax hikes nonetheless.

It’s not really in dispute that, all else equal, higher taxes reduce economic growth. The Congressional Budget Office, for example, recently found that both labor and capital taxes reduce GDP, the former by reducing the incentive to work and the latter by reducing the incentive to save and invest. Meanwhile, the evidence that infrastructure investment will spur enough growth to compensate is disputed at best.

These taxes can also directly affect Americans whom Biden promised would be shielded. During the campaign, Biden vowed not to increase taxes on “anyone” earning less than $400,000. But that promise has now magically evolved to include households that pass the threshold only when both spouses’ earnings are counted. Of course, during the speech he was back to dishonestly claiming, “No one making under $400,000 will see their federal taxes go up. Period.”

4. The one institution that won’t be fact-finding about China’s role in the coronavirus genesis is WHO. From the editorial:

Not only was the work of the WHO investigators severely restricted by the Chinese government, they themselves have been strangely antagonistic to these conclusions. During a press conference in Wuhan, Peter Ben Embarek, the researcher who led the mission, called the lab-leak theory “extremely unlikely,” though after returning from China he clarified that it is “definitely not off the table.” (The WHO mission’s report this week reverts to Ben Embarek’s first formulation.)

Another researcher on the mission, Peter Daszak, president of the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance, had organized a statement signed by researchers that called the lab-leak hypothesis a “conspiracy theory” almost a year before.

Notably, Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance received a National Institutes of Health grant that it used to fund research at WIV, and he has co-authored over 20 studies with Chinese party-state researchers or otherwise funded by the Chinese party-state institutions, including the People’s Liberation Army. In other words, as a February letter by more than two dozen scientists criticizing the WHO mission’s work put it, his “public statements cast serious doubts as to his scientific objectivity.”

5. America’s teachers’ unions are devastating our kids. It’s beyond time to fight back. From the piece:

This isn’t bare-knuckle labor politics — it’s political child abuse.

The Centers for Disease Control has said that schools can be safely reopened while maintaining social distancing of as little as three feet. And, as we all know, the pronouncements of the CDC are the gold standard for our progressive friends — right up until they run into the demands of an important Democratic constituency, at which point, they become trash. American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten says she’s “not convinced” by the CDC’s advice. Weingarten, a lawyer by education and a union goon by profession, is, to say the least, not very well prepared to critically review the CDC’s public-health findings.

We have been through a great deal in the past year, with the schools and other institutions taking extraordinary measures that were generally, even when we disagreed, understandable. But 100 million Americans have now received at least one dose of one of the COVID-19 vaccines, and the research overwhelmingly finds that elementary-school education is a relatively low-risk proposition — and that every additional unnecessary delay in the return of ordinary education does real and lasting damage to children, especially to those whose families do not have the resources to adequately pick up the slack. A great many people have worked throughout this terrible episode, many at some considerable personal risk, and not only doctors, nurses, and ambulance drivers but also grocery clerks, warehouse workers, and taxi drivers. They have kept the country running while unionized teachers in Oakland and elsewhere have turned up their noses at the children they are supposed to be serving and looked instead to their own two-point agenda: (1) not going to work (2) getting paid.

Many Wonderful Articles to Which Your Attention and Intelligence Are Called

1. It just goes on and on my friends . . . in a line from a kid’s song, and also a strategy of lockdown junkies. Michael Brendan Dougherty profiles the COVID dead-ender. From the article:

T here’s been a strange additive quality to the COVID-19 pandemic. First, health experts said not to wear masks. Then, they told you to wear masks whenever you were indoors and couldn’t socially distance. Then, most states issued guidance approved by their own health departments that required you to wear masks and socially distance at the same time. And suddenly, in deep-blue states, people began wearing masks even when they were completely alone outdoors. Then the authorities told you to wear two masks. At least until you could get the vaccine. And then, on second or third thought, maybe just start buying masks in bulk so that you’re supplied until 2022. So saith Fauci.

And now, in America, you may be getting the vaccine. Your elderly parents or grandparents very likely had access to get one already. If you have one of the many qualifying conditions, or your state is liberalizing the criteria quickly, you yourself may be getting the vaccines. You might be planning your first big family get-together again for this Easter because of it.

Or you may be one of the vaccine-hesitant and you intend to be a free-rider on the herd immunity that vaccination of over half the population and infection of many more will bring. You are looking forward to normality. To traveling again. Or to reunions, weddings, and yes, funerals that are unmasked and undistanced. To those life-moments when people cry tears of joy or sorrow into each other’s shoulders, rather than into N-95s, because that is the policy of the venue.

Unfortunately, for you, there is the COVID dead-ender, and he stands in your way.

2. George Floyd resisted arrest, as Andrew C. McCarthy sees the evidence, which he finds powerful. From the analysis:

This does not mean the officers’ prolonged restraint of Floyd later on, as his life faded, was justified. That is the central issue the jury will have to resolve. But the latest evidence helps better explain what preceded the infamous and grim video footage of Floyd under Chauvin’s knee.

Notably, Floyd’s now-famous statements that he could not breathe and that police were killing him, as well as his cries for his mother, were not just reactions — as prosecutors and political activists have framed it — to his being placed in a neck hold by Chauvin after police put him in a dangerous prone position on the street. In reality, Floyd began calling for his mother, and crying out that he could not breathe and was going to die, while police were trying to get him to sit in the back of the squad car. Those claims may have been sincere, but if so, they were spurred by what Floyd maintained were his “claustrophobia” and anxiety over being taken into custody, not by the neck hold in which Chauvin subsequently placed him.

What’s more, it was not the idea of the arresting officers to place Floyd in a prone position on the street. Rather, after propelling his way out of the squad-car rear seat that four cops unsuccessfully struggled to place him in, Floyd insisted that he preferred to lie down on the street. The police restrained him in the position in which he put himself, which was not the position they wanted him in (they wanted him in the car). Reasonably convinced that Floyd was high on drugs (a conclusion supported by his erratic behavior, the accounts of witnesses, and later toxicology tests), the police called for paramedics to take him to a hospital, rather than continuing to try to thrust him in the squad car and take him into police custody.

That is, the police accused of murdering Floyd actually summoned medical help out of concern over his condition.

3. Georgia One: The Peach State proves a mecca for liars. Charles C.W. Cooke is keeping score: From the article:

O nce again, the liars of the world have descended upon Georgia, which, in its infancy as a purplish state, has become a cynosure for fabulists of all stripes. This is the third time in as many years that Georgia has been wantonly maligned. Who among us would bet against there being a fourth before the end of next year?

The tradition started in earnest in 2018, when Stacey Abrams became nationally famous for refusing to accept the results of a fair election that she lost by 50,000 votes. Abrams still insists that she was cheated, is supported in this holding by many in the press, and has so effectively spread her distortions that, three years later, they are still echoed habitually by figures such as Elizabeth Warren.

Abrams’s complaints in 2018 were numerous, hysterical, and utterly meritless. She complained that her opponent was running for office while he was secretary of state — which he was, but which he’d done twice before without incident, which Democrats themselves had done happily in the past, and which was ultimately irrelevant given that the secretary of state’s office does not count or reject votes. She complained that Kemp had enforced an entirely mainstream law that strikes from the rolls anyone who hasn’t voted for three years and who, having been asked by the secretary of state’s office whether he or she is still a Georgia resident, has ignored the question for two consecutive federal elections. And she complained that Georgia had reduced the number of polling places — which was true, but which was the product not of Kemp’s being secretary of state, but of consolidation by rural counties and the rules set by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. Together, Abrams cast these complaints as the return of “Jim Crow” — a charge so historically illiterate and irresponsible that, in a sensible political culture, it would have disqualified her from public life in perpetuity. If the Georgia Tourist Board were looking for a Chief Mendacity Officer, Abrams would be a shoo-in.

4. Georgia Two: Rich Lowry finds that Joe Biden has opened his mouth and . . . yep, a big fat lie came out, with a side of canard. From the column:

Biden says the new law is “Jim Crow in the 21st century” and “an un-American law to deny people the right to vote.”

It’s now practically mandatory for Democrats to launch such unhinged broadsides. Elizabeth Warren, accusing Georgia governor Brian Kemp of having stolen his 2018 election victory over Democratic activist Stacey Abrams (a poisonous myth), tweeted, “The Republican who is sitting in Stacey Abrams’ chair just signed a despicable voter suppression bill into law to take Georgia back to Jim Crow.”

Anyone making this charge in good faith either doesn’t understand the hideousness of Jim Crow or the provisions of the Georgia law.

The old Jim Crow was billy clubs and fire hoses the alleged new Jim Crow is asking people to write a driver’s license number on their absentee-ballot envelopes.

The old Jim Crow was poll taxes the new Jim Crow is expanding weekend voting.

5. Considering their rhetoric, says Dan McLaughlin, you’d think Democrats want to do away with voter registration altogether. From the article:

Laws, after all, make it harder to do almost anything — even when “harder” means that the process overall is easier because government imposes order, but requires citizens to take some affirmative steps to learn the rules and comply with them. Is it “harder” to drive because you have to obey red lights and traffic signs? Yes, because you are not free to do whatever you want no, because the roads work better for everyone as a result. Conservatives believe that we should, in general, have fewer laws, but not no laws: We recognize that having some laws is necessary for order, and order is necessary for the exercise of a citizen’s liberty.

So, yes, having any rules at all makes it very marginally harder, in some very minimal ways, to cast more votes. Is that automatically bad in all cases? One wishes that progressives would apply some of this spirit of unyielding doctrinaire libertarianism to laws that make it harder to open and run a business, pursue a trade, keep one’s own wages, or exercise core constitutional rights to practice one’s faith, speak freely, or keep and bear arms.

Ask yourself the question that few Democrats or progressives seem willing or able to answer: Why do we register voters at all? What legitimate purpose does voter registration serve? It makes it easier to vote only in the sense that a voter can show that he is eligible to vote — but progressives oppose every law that is premised upon the state having a legitimate interest in checking to ensure that any voter is eligible to vote. And just about everywhere in the United States, everybody is eligible to vote so long as they are (1) a U.S. citizen, (2) age 18 or older, (3) a resident in the place they want to vote, and (4) not a convicted felon. Those are the only restrictions, and they are quite lenient.

6. If you think there are wins to be had in the war against porn, Cameron Hilditch has some ideas. From the analysis:

The shortcomings of cumbersome bureaucratic plans for regulating pornography should not, however, cause social conservatives and anti-porn feminists to throw their hands up and resign themselves to a libertine cultural landscape. Technological innovation and market forces can be used to check the spread of pornography in much the same way they’ve been used to proliferate it. But for a rearguard action against pornography to be successful, it will have to begin at the grassroots level rather than be handed down from on high by legislators.

We already have examples of how this might work. The team behind Pi-hole, for example, has built a piece of open-source software that allows users to block their devices from accessing certain domain names by preventing those domain names from resolving to a useable IP address. At the moment, Pi-hole is used for things like blocking ads on websites, but the technology could easily be applied to pornography. It’s not hard to imagine a tech start-up that would market itself as an open-source anti-porn collective. Such an organization would keep an eye on the ever-growing list of porn sites and constantly update its program to block their IP addresses. Subscribers or “members” of the collective could have the program running on their home devices and organize themselves into physical and virtual neighborhoods and communities wherein each household was a member of the same collective. Devices operating on the 4G or 5G services of Internet companies would obviously be bound only by the policies of the service provider, but those companies tend to have robust parental controls for these services anyway.

Social conservatives who favor a legislative response to the proliferation of pornography will probably have little patience with this approach. But it is the only viable one in the long term. The only way to comprehensively ban pornography would be to have a complete and total government takeover of the Internet, as has been accomplished by the Chinese Communist Party. This would be somewhat analogous to the Norman strategy of total conquest in Ireland. It would also, for all practical purposes, mark the end of freedom and privacy in the United States of America. Few, one would hope, would regard this as a worthy price to pay for the extirpation of Internet pornography.

8. Kevin Hassett poses five questions to Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson. From the interview:

Looking back at Trump’s policies before the pandemic, what do you think the bottom line should be about their effectiveness?

My feeling is that progress was made, but we missed some big opportunities. We obviously made our tax system more competitive, but we didn’t simplify or rationalize it. I think we overshot in how much we lowered the corporate-tax rate. We didn’t really do much in terms of taking away tax preferences and simplifying the tax code. During the tax debate, I kept telling the members of my conference — and anyone who would listen — that we were too focused on rates and not focused enough on tax simplification and tax rationalization. One of my favorite sayings is “All change is not progress, all movement is not forward.” So we didn’t take the once-in-a-generation opportunity to dramatically simplify and rationalize our tax code. What I said in the budget hearing I reference earlier, and then discussed later with Tim Kaine, is just one example. I mean, it’s crazy that we have an arbitrary and different tax rate for capital gains. Now, I don’t think you should tax inflationary gains. Simply index inflation out of the gain, and then tax the remaining gain as ordinary income using the same individual taxpayer rates.

If we really simplify, we could even do away with the corporate tax and tax everything at the individual rate. I would prefer a flat tax, but I accept the fact that progressive tax rates are what Americans want, and a progressive system is here to stay. But we tax business income at the ownership level for Sub-S, LLCs and partnerships, and those business types are something like 95 percent of all American businesses. I proposed this way of taxing business income during the 2017 Tax Reform debate. I called it “The True Warren Buffet Tax.” There are many advantages to this system, including a more efficient allocation of capital and making stock ownership more advantageous and attractive to lower-income Americans. I am continuing to push this idea and hope to have more information in the near future.

But to be sure, the policy victories passed by Republicans and the Trump administration did have a big and positive impact on the economy and the lives of ordinary Americans. But you can always do better.

9. Kevin Williamson finds that bridge-building translates in Bidenese to political slush-funding. From the piece:

President Joe Biden is proposing a multi-trillion-dollar “infrastructure” plan that actually isn’t all that focused on infrastructure — because bullsh** is the common currency of this realm — and one of the things high on his agenda is subsidizing broadband Internet connections for areas that don’t have them. By industry estimates, about 93 percent of Americans have access to a broadband connection, and those who don’t mostly live in remote and rural areas. There are many more Americans who have access to a broadband connection but choose not to pay for one. The Biden administration complains that high-speed connections are “overpriced,” based on . . . the careful thinking and analysis that one naturally associates with Joe Biden.

Lack of broadband connections is not, in reality, much of a national problem for the United States, and it is becoming less of a problem every year as Americans gravitate toward the metropolitan areas where the jobs and the capital are, along with the good broadband connections. But this kind of project presses all sorts of New Deal, TVA, rural-electrification buttons in Democrats of Joe Biden’s generation. Hence the slogan, “Broadband is the new electricity.” These are not super-imaginative people.

Expanding broadband access isn’t going to do much for unemployed or marginally employed people in rural areas, but it is a big, fat subsidy for people like me: work-from-home knowledge-economy types with a yen for that sweet Unabomber lifestyle and in need of fast Internet in the bunker. If Biden is successful, it will be a red-letter day in the history of federally subsidized misanthropy. Pour one out in memory of Florence King.

10. There is no place in U.S. military training for Critical Race Theory, argues Senator Tom Cotton. From then piece:

Unfortunately, more than 70 years after Truman’s executive order, racist and un-American ideas of unequal treatment are creeping back into the Armed Forces under the guise of so-called critical race theory.

Critical race theory repudiates the principle of equality under the law that is articulated in the Declaration of Independence and that has motivated civil-rights reformers for generations. It claims that this American ideal is a sham used by the white majority to oppress racial minorities, and consequently that America is racist to its core. The theory concludes that the only way to end perceived discrimination against racial minorities is to systematically discriminate on their behalf — to fight fire with fire, so to speak. As Ibram X. Kendi, a leading agitator for critical race theory, wrote, “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”

Kendi’s belief in unequal treatment and discrimination has been embraced in fashionable left-wing circles. Increasingly, this ideology is institutionalized in corporate America, higher education, and other elite sectors in the form of “implicit bias training” and “diversity, equity, and inclusion” offices. Sadly, now these racist ideas are even being taught to our troops.

Last month, the Navy released a recommended reading list to facilitate the “growth and development” of sailors. One of the books on this list is How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi’s bestseller advocating critical race theory. Separately, the Navy’s Second Fleet created a book club for sailors to read White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, a book that claims white people are inherently racist, whether consciously or subconsciously, and that race is the insidious subtext for virtually all human interactions.

11. Will the way the Southern Baptist Convention handles CRT impact its policies on adoption? Naomi Schaefer Riley does the analysis. From the article:

The truth, though, is that this controversy over critical race theory could have real-life implications for a population that is already among the most vulnerable — children in the foster-care system. In recent years Evangelical congregations, including a great many Southern Baptist ones, have led a revolution in foster care and adoption. They have formed hundreds of ministries and other organizations devoted to the recruitment, training, and support of families who foster or who adopt children out of foster care. And their efforts have shown enormous success, both in drawing more people into the system but also giving them the education and the help that they need to stay in it for the long term.

There are, of course, a disproportionately high number of black children in the foster-care system and a disproportionately low number of (nonrelative) black foster and adoptive families. And so, inevitably, many of the families who volunteer to foster or adopt do not look like the children they are caring for. There was a time when this development would have been celebrated as a triumph of tolerance and racial harmony. But that time is not today. Instead, it is hardly uncommon for our cultural elites to question these interracial relationships.

12. Max Eden and Tracey Schirra says conservatives can strategize a better way to defend women’s sports. From the piece:

And at the very highest level, the differences become even more stark. Serena Williams may well be the greatest female tennis player of all time. But she and her sister Venus were once beaten back-to-back by a 50-year-old man who smoked cigarettes and drank beer during the changeovers. Tori Bowie is an Olympic gold-medalist female sprinter. Her lifetime best performance in the 100-meter dash is 10.78 seconds. Men beat that 15,000 times in 2017 alone.

If collegiate athletic programs opt to exploit this biological advantage, women would still have the opportunity to compete. But it could herald the beginning of the end for the possibility of world-class female athletics.

Noem expressed concern that the NCAA could take punitive action against South Dakota. But it’s hard to imagine the NCAA bullying 20 states simultaneously. If it tried to, the NCAA would not only lose in the court of public opinion, but it also might literally lose half the country. The Constitution does not grant it monopoly power over college athletics. Another association, one actually dedicated to athletic excellence, could and perhaps should be formed in such a contingency.

The social pressure against any action will, of course, be immense. The Washington Post editorial board has declared that this issue is “a convenient way to whip up fears and bigotry about transgender people,” and the New Yorker’s Masha Gessen has insisted that all objections are rooted in “ignorance and hate.”

13. What Iran is selling, Red China is buying. Elliott Abrams warns about the fill-’er-up relationship. From the article:

Consider the numbers, too. According to the World Bank, total foreign direct investment (FDI) in Iran, from all sources, maxed out in 2017 at $5 billion, but by 2019 had fallen to $1.5 billion. It seems to have fallen further in 2020, to about $1 billion. This agreement with China — $400 billion in 25 years — calls for $16 billion per year from China alone. Does that seem realistic for Iran, a country that has never absorbed more than $5 billion in a single year in FDI from the entire world? There is also good reason to question the notion that China will significantly increase its reliance on Iran for oil: Would China want to rely on a sole, Middle Eastern source rather than diversify its supplies?

There are other ways of evaluating how real the $400 billion figure may be. According to the China Global Investment Tracker produced by the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation, in the 15 years between 2004 and 2019, China invested a total of $182 billion in the United States, or an average of $12 billion a year $98 billion in Australia, or $6.5 billion per year and $83 billion in the U.K., or $5.5 billion per year. The numbers are lower for countries such as Brazil, Canada, Germany, and Switzerland. How realistic is it, then, that China will invest more annually in Iran than it does — or has ever done — in any other country in the world?

This is not to suggest that a large economic deal between Iran and China has no meaning. One has to assume that Iran will sell more and more oil to China, defying and undermining U.S. sanctions. And one should also assume that China will increase its investments in Iran, in many sectors of the economy. Among other harmful effects, we should consider how this will affect China’s willingness to discipline Iran in the International Atomic Energy Agency for its continuing violations of the JCPOA, the Additional Protocol, and the Non-Proliferation Treaty — violations that bring Iran closer to being able to create a deliverable nuclear weapon.

14. Andrew C. McCarthy says the Big Hubris in Albany has a black belt in brazen stalling tactics. From the piece:

Cuomo and his allies are perversely exploiting the metastasizing of allegations against him as a stalling strategy. They urge that everything, including the kitchen sink, be thrown into the state assembly’s investigation, even such matters as bridge-safety concerns, which do not at the moment appear very serious. The point is to project the impression that Cuomo is not afraid of an impeachment investigation, while in reality making the investigation so extensive that the third-term governor would be in his fifth term by the time it concludes, if it ever does.

I’ve put the game this way: Cuomo is betting that the more impeachable he is, the less impeachable he is.

Preferential treatment amounts to a serious liability for the governor. That’s not just because it is an ugly look given that, as the New York Post reported Sunday, the nursing homes that were endangered by Cuomo’s policies were begging in futility for test kits while the governor’s family and friends were bumped to the front of the line.

It is a serious liability because it constitutes a black-and-white law violation that is explicitly made subject to potential removal from office under New York State ethics statutes. That puts it in a different category — if not of gravity, then of provability — than Cuomo’s two other scandals.

15. Charles C.W. Cooke takes on a Stanford prof and baloney about gun-owning pro-lifers. From the beginning of the piece:

‘Y ou cannot be pro-life and pro-AR15 at the same time.” So says Stanford professor Michael McFaul, echoing a line that is thrown around the political arena each and every time Americans debate gun control. Like those whom he is channeling, McFaul is wrong. Worse still, he is repeating a cheap slogan that is designed to appeal to people who are neither pro-life nor pro-AR-15, and, in turn, to short-circuit the debate with half-witted question-begging. The sole effect of McFaul’s contribution will be to have made us all dumber and less precise in our thinking.

McFaul’s claim rests upon a comparison of apples and oranges from which there is no coming back. Abortion is a process that, as with suicide or euthanasia or murder, causes every person at whom it is directed to die. It is true, of course, that many practitioners of abortion think that they are killing a life of no value, or that they are killing a life of less value than their own. But, irrespective of their moral calculations, they are indisputably still killing. To abort a baby is to stop it living, growing, and, eventually, being born. That is the point — and the sole point — of the procedure.

A gun, by contrast, is a tool — like scissors, or vacuums. Those tools can kill, yes. But they don’t always. There is a reason that you don’t hear pro-choicers saying, “You can’t be pro-life and pro-scissors” and that reason is that you quite obviously can be both things. You just can’t be pro-life and pro-murdering unborn babies with scissors. The same rule applies to guns. I have many guns, and, while they are indeed all capable of inflicting horrible damage, I have never hurt a single person with any of them. As with scissors, I can absolutely be pro-life and keep those guns for my defense I just can’t be pro-life and murder people with them.

16. More from Cameron Hilditch: The gods may be crazy, but not as nuts as the Aztec-loving California Board of Education. From the piece:

Even a passing knowledge of Aztec history raises serious questions about this ritual (a passing knowledge of the First Amendment raises even more, but that’s a different matter). None, though, is more important than the question of what, precisely, has brought these deities back to life after so many centuries of slumber. Why do teachers and administrators in California want to revive these Aztec cults and set them favorably against Christianity?

We can’t ask this question properly — let alone answer it — without taking at least a cursory look at Aztec history and searching for the virtues that California’s Board of Education thinks it has found in the cults of these Mesoamerican deities.

The principal place of worship in the Aztec empire was the Templo Mayor in the city of Tenochtitlan, which was made up of twin pyramids, one dedicated to Huitzilopochtli, god of the sun, and the other to Tlaloc, the god of rain. Like all the Aztec gods, Huitzilopochtli and Tlaloc had an insatiable appetite for human sacrifice. The priests of Huitzilopochtli would appease their patron deity by laying out a sacrificial victim on a stone at the apex of the god’s pyramid, carving out said victim’s heart (while he or she was still alive), and then rolling the body down the side of the pyramid, at the base of which it was then dismembered and either disposed of or eaten. Post-conquest sources report that at the reconsecration of this pyramid in 1487, about 80,400 people were sacrificed in this way over the course of just four days. Even historians who regard this number as an exaggeration concede that the victim tally was probably still in the tens of thousands.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

Tlaloc was an even less attractive figure. He had a particular predilection for the sacrifice of children. The remains of more than 40 boys and girls were discovered at the excavation site of the great pyramid, most bearing the marks of severe and prolonged torture. This was to be expected given that the Aztec pictorial codices that have come down to us invariably show the children crying before being sacrificed. The priests of Tlaloc believed the tears of innocent children to be particularly pleasing to the god, and they took great care to ensure that their little victims were crying before and throughout the ceremony so that the smoke of the sacrificial fire would carry their tears up to the god above at the moment of death. The ritual began with the bones of the children being broken, their hands or their feet burned, and carvings etched into their flesh. They were then paraded before the celebrants of the ritual while crying. Insufficient tears from the children were believed to result in insufficient rains for the crops that year, so no brutality was spared. At the end of it all, the mutilated victims were burned alive.

The New Issue of National Review Is a Humdinger of a Special about California

The April 19, 2021 issue is bursting with 20 articles, analyses, and commentaries on the Golden State, the good, bad, and ugly of the sunkist place people are leaving in droves. Herewith we show off seven randomly selected, ripe, and juicy persimmons of persuasion.

1. David Bahnsen — prophet, no keen observer, yes — writes the Article of Exodus. From the piece:

But there is one basic, objective reality that is impossible to spin away — people are leaving in droves.

I suppose that some states or pockets of the country in various periods, likely cyclical ones, could be susceptible to mass exodus. Weather conditions, quality of life, scenic options, pace, energy, educational opportunities, job-market dynamics — there are always reasons that could lead one to leave a certain place for another. But every one of those issues was a magnet to California decade upon decade — not a deterrent to coming or staying. Come spend a day with me in Newport Beach sometime and tell me that the weather is the reason people are leaving this state. You can rest assured that no part of California will receive a failing grade for its weather.

To leave a spot often branded as paradise for its warm, sunny, and consistent weather, there has to be a catalyst. Dreamers long flooded into California because of an entrepreneurial culture that was real and palpable. From Hollywood to Silicon Valley, from the Central Valley to San Diego, from downtown Los Angeles to the Inland Empire, whether in entertainment, technology, agriculture, sciences, big business, or small business, there was a dream associated with being in California. It was aspirational. It was a spot of infinite opportunity that also had the Pacific Ocean and 70-degree weather. It was no accident that California grew as it did, and no accident that such profoundly important businesses grew here, came here, were founded here, and flourished here. But, alas, it has been no accident, either, that all of this has wrenchingly reversed. The weather and the dreams have not changed. But the tax rates, the regulations, and the cultural climate have. And over two decades marked by a highly conscious policy shift, the Left has helped to reverse the New Year’s Day dynamic of folks around the country watching the Rose Bowl on ABC, wondering why they are shoveling snow off their driveways when those lucky SOBs in Pasadena are bathing in sunshine with a view of the San Gabriel Mountains. It takes a lot of work to reverse a force like that, but the work was done, and that force has been reversed.

2. Michael Gibson explains the trauma caused by San Francisco’s horrid district attorney, Chesa Boudin. From the article:

The Lyons mayhem is not an isolated case in the city by the bay. On New Year’s Eve, a parolee on the run from a robbery — also in a stolen car — sped through a red light, striking and killing two women, 60-year-old Elizabeth Platt and 27-yearold Hanako Abe, who were in the crosswalk. The driver, Troy McAlister, had been released twice by the district attorney in the previous year: the first time because Boudin refuses to pursue three-strike cases, of which McAlister’s was one the second — as recently as December 20, when the SFPD arrested McAlister for driving a stolen car — because Boudin kicked the case to the state parole officers, who did nothing.

Welcome to San Francisco’s latest idiocy, a new experiment in governance where everything is allowed but nothing is permitted. A paradox, you might say, but take a walk down Market Street, down that great avenue in a great city in a great nation, and note the desolation of the empty streets, the used needles tossed on the sidewalks, and the boarded-up windows on storefronts. Consider that, at various unpredictable times in the last year, it has been illegal — for the sake of public safety during COVID — to run a mom-and-pop corner shop or to serve food at sidewalk cafés. Reflect for a moment that, since time immemorial, it has been illegal to build any new housing, because of the most onerous and confusing zoning laws in the known universe. Mark Zuckerberg can apparently influence national elections by tweaking algorithms, but he is powerless before the planning commission when it comes to building apartments for his employees. The city has banned plastic straws, plastic bags, and McDonald’s Happy Meals with toys. And yet, all the while, drug dealers sell their wares — COVID or no COVID — openly and freely at all hours of the day and night, users shoot up or pop fentanyl in public and defecate on the street, robbers pillage cars and homes with the ease of Visigoth raiders, and the district attorney frees repeat offenders who go on to sow disorder, pain, devastation, and grief. A profound melancholy hangs in the air of this city, punctuated only by the shrieks of a junkie dreaming of demons or by the rat-tat-tat-bam of the occasional firework. (Or was that a gun?) This is anarcho-tyranny. Everything is allowed, nothing is permitted.

3. Will Swaim attacks the attacks on California’s suburbs. From the piece:

And so the messaging continues. It’s McCarthyism turned upside down: The suburbs (not just Orange County, but everything outside the actual cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco) are nurseries of fascism, and in this California version of the Spanish Civil War, only the vanguard of the proletariat (Democrats, bureaucrats, and government unions) can stop the suburbs.

In their fight to kill the suburbs — as places of white people, conservatives, and (heaven forfend) Republicans — California’s environmentalists are helpful allies. Arguing that suburbs are sprawl, and that sprawl is killing the planet, they front a blizzard of legislation designed to choke the ever-living ghost out of the suburbs.

Animated by this philosophy, the regulatory war on suburbs takes many forms. One new law ties suburban development to a government-approved estimate of the number of miles a new homeowner might drive each day. As my California Policy Center colleague Edward Ring put it, the law “has a synergistic value to the greens: It makes war on single-family dwellings at the same time it makes war on the family car.” Instead of allowing suburbs to expand, another new law allows for benign-sounding “neighborhood multi-family areas.” Translation: In order to boost housing units but limit suburban growth, California governments may authorize the bulldozing of single-family homes in favor of subsidized multifamily units. (Two notable exceptions in that law exempt super-wealthy communities Marin and Santa Barbara.)

Other “inclusive zoning” laws don’t just require the legitimate abolition of racist prohibitions on home purchases they require that local governments subsidize home purchases and apartment rentals in communities the poor cannot otherwise afford. Leveraging the state’s Ottoman environmental codes, private-sector building trades extort home-builders for union contracts. Government unions demanding new revenue have boosted the cost of residentialbuilding permits to as much as $100,000 per home.

4. Steven Greenhut wades into the water-policy desert. From the analysis:

In 1919, when California’s population was 3.35 million, it faced a similar problem. That year, the California State Irrigation Association distributed a water-infrastructure blueprint by Colonel Robert Bradford Marshall, a geographer, who wrote, “The people of California, indifferent to the bountiful gifts that Nature has given them, sit idly by waiting for rain, indefinitely postponing irrigation, and allowing every year millions and millions of dollars in water to pour unused into the sea.”

In the ensuing years, the state and federal governments, through the State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project, built a remarkable system of dams, reservoirs, and canals, which provide the water that sustains the current population and turned the Central Valley into one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions. These projects also eliminated massive and routine floods. California used to fund water projects appropriately, via revenue bonds paid by end users.

California water policy has devolved largely into an insane battle over fish habitats. Fish populations are important, but flushing more water down the rivers isn’t doing much to revive their still-declining numbers. During the last drought, I covered a contentious meeting at the Oakdale Irrigation District, in the Sierra Nevada foothills east of the San Joaquin Valley city of Modesto, where officials were draining two reservoirs to help a handful of hatchery-raised steel-head trout. “Now we have sizable communities that eventually might open the spigots and have no water,” I wrote, “to help a fish so common I had it for dinner this week.”

5. David Leal believes the GOP can win the Hispanic vote. From the analysis:

Some conservatives see a dystopian future of Anglo population decline, minority and immigrant population growth, and increasing support for socialism and “cultural Marxism.” This is called “replacement” in nativist-populist circles, and the end result is America somehow becoming Nueva Cuba.

This is hogwash, of course. As with so many political tales, the reality turns out to be more complicated. In particular, the claim that Latinos and immigrants are die-hard Democrats and ideological leftists who will change America is false to the point of slander. The political future of California and America is not, and never has been, preordained by population change.

The claim that California politics was reshaped by the ballot initiatives of the 1990s is debatable. One reason is that it does not clearly map onto election results. We do not see a simple pattern of one party losing or gaining in the 1990s and 2000s. While Republicans did make gains in statewide offices and the state legislature in 1994, the national red wave of that year may have been more consequential than Proposition 187. While this was followed by Democratic gains in subsequent elections, that appears more like a return to the status quo than a new blue wave.

6. Peter Robinson shares notes from a once-golden state. From the piece:

“What went wrong?” asks Pete Wilson, who served as the Republican governor of California during the 1990s. “Hell, what didn’t?”

A native of the Midwest, Wilson moved to California in 1959. Seven years later, he began a political career during which he would spend four years in the assembly, a dozen years as mayor of San Diego, eight years in the U.S. Senate, and eight years as governor. The California that kept voting for Wilson — he never lost a general election — possessed a functioning two-party system. As late as 1999, Wilson’s final year as governor, the GOP remained competitive. Registered Republicans accounted for 36 percent of the California electorate. The GOP held 37 of the 80 seats in the state assembly, 15 of the 40 seats in the state senate, and 24 of California’s 52 seats in the House of Representatives. Today? Registered Republicans account for just 24 percent of the California electorate. The GOP holds 19 of the 80 seats in the assembly, nine of the 40 seats in the senate, and eleven of California’s 53 seats in the House of Representatives. The two-party system has collapsed.

Wilson names three causes.

The first: public employees’ unions. In the 1970s, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation giving collective-bargaining rights to public employees, including state employees. This expanded the power of organizations such as the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). “Jerry claimed it was just a minor change,” says Wilson. “I said, ‘The hell it is.’” Then, in 1988, Proposition 98 amended the state constitution, ensuring that each year a certain portion of the entire state budget — typically at least 40 percent — would go to public schools. This gave the California Teachers Association (CTA) a reliable source of income. Since then, the SEIU, the CTA, and other public employees’ unions have built a political perpetual-motion machine. The unions back Democratic candidates. The Democrats, once in office, spend public money to the benefit of the unions. Then the unions back more Democratic candidates.

7. David Mamet considers the decline through some literary lenses. From the reflection:

Trollope’s New Zealander (1855) is a collection of essays on the corruption and decay of contemporary British society, culture, and morals, but they could have been written about the California of today as, indeed, they were written about that which we, in our continued abundance, share with Victorian England: “the inevitable result of prosperity and peace that is, cowardice” (Duff Cooper).

California, with the world’s fifth-largest economy, is as dedicated to self-destruction as was 1914 Europe. Was there no alternative to the Great War? Could no one have stopped it?

Siegfried Sassoon reports in his Memoirs of an Infantry Officer (1930) that, after three years in the trenches, he wrote to his commanding officer demanding that he, or someone in authority, state the war aims. Sassoon was a decorated, combat-wounded officer, and rather than court-martial him (which was then their legal right), the military authorities judged him mentally incompetent and sent him to an asylum.

Today we, here, where it is always “either 72 degrees,” have real problems incident to prosperity: illegal immigration, technological change, homelessness and, to round out the entertainment, the cry against problems whose evanescence is their most plaguing trait — systemic racism, micro-aggression, white privilege, and so on. We know that a disagreement over a real slight may potentially be healed but that one over a slight merely imagined will persist forever — its persistence being its own purpose, as hypochondria, a disease for exercising control, is not a problem but a solution.

Trump’s great crime was that of Galileo or Milton Friedman, pointing out that our problems could be solved by simpler solutions, given an honest analysis and a bit of will. This brings to mind the wisdom of a California sage, Sam Goldwyn, who once stormed into his office declaiming, “I want someone here to tell me what’s going on if it costs them their job.”

The prosperous person may employ a housekeeper and, if increasingly wealthy, two or three, and then a household “manager” to oversee them and, if downright rich, a pilot, a yacht captain, and (within my experience) a second “chase boat,” to transport the jet ski, helicopter, and security team.

Government is, finally, just the agglomeration of individuals as wicked, misguided, and sinful as ourselves. Our laws exist to keep in check those we elevate to power for they will certainly misuse it. They may build the “train to nowhere,” a solution to a problem that does not exist or let the schools decay to a position of 37th in test performance, out of a possible 50, all the while, and of necessity, raising taxes. They will not, any more than Goldwyn’s office boy, speak up to destroy their jobs. They will raise taxes to drive capital and business out of the state and, then, appalled by the drop in tax revenue, respond by further raising taxes.

Lights. Camera. Review!

1. Kyle Smith is pretty meh about Zach Snyder’s Justice League. From the review:

I shared in the general rejoicing when Snyder was allowed to finish and deliver his four-hour version of the film — Zack Snyder’s Justice League — to HBO Max. Snyder is an interesting filmmaker Whedon is not. Snyder has ideas Whedon has quips. Nevertheless, Snyder’s movie is a letdown.

What I ask of ZSJL is what I ask of any movie: Make me feel something. At first, I felt relief: Wow, this is a lot better than Whedon’s version! But malaria is better than Whedon’s version. The new cut is merely a run-of-the-mill 21st-century comic-book flick, only more ponderous and broody than average. I’ll take ponderous and broody over meretricious and smarmy any day. But Snyder’s cut doesn’t match the caliber of the finest “dark” superhero movies, such as the ones by Christopher Nolan and Snyder’s previous efforts, Watchmen and Batman v. Superman, both of which did an intriguing job of exploring how superheroes wear out their welcome and even gods on earth could come to be hated.

ZSJL, by contrast, is about mighty people punching and kicking each other all over the digital landscape. The scary scenes aren’t scary, the action scenes are only semi-thrilling, and the jokes are terrible. Virtually everything said by the Flash — played predictably irritatingly by one of the most irritating actors alive, Ezra Miller — is a would-be witticism that just clangs off the hoop. There isn’t a single line of dialogue in the entire four-hour extravaganza that goes swish through the net. It’s all “Get the hell off of me!” or “I do competitive ice dancing” — blandly functional or horribly witless.

2. Armond White and a ton of bricks come down hard on the Wokesters at Turner Classic Movies. From the beginning of the piece:

T urner Classic Movies, the closest thing to a national film outlet on television, has succumbed to political fashion with its recent month-long series Reframed: Classic Films in the Rearview Mirror. Responding to the current political revisionism, TCM subjected its content of “beloved classics” to the oversight of politically correct agitators.

The network’s five regular hosts, Ben Mankiewicz, Alicia Malone, Eddie Muller, Dave Karger, and Jacqueline Stewart opined on the “problematic” aspects of films that were made before wokeness — putting them through the now standard race and gender sieve, testing them against self-righteous Millennial standards. Not surprisingly, none of the classics — The Jazz Singer (1927), Gone with the Wind (1939), Dragon Seed (1944), The Searchers (1956), The Children’s Hour (1961), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), among others — were found to be woke enough.

This process of reexamination greets the vagaries of art with disapproval. It’s part of the dangerous new reconciliation fever, more reckoning. Not quite cancel culture, TCM’s Reframed still steps in that direction. It follows the same revisionism that distorts the history of Hollywood’s late-’40s to late-’50s blacklist: Everything is seen in terms of victimization and offense. TCM’s hosts, an Our Gang mix of age-race-sex political identities, discussed each movie according to their respective representation specialty. But the result was almost always the same: blame and condemnation, although film-noir expert Muller usually backed off from the latter, thus coming closest to scholarly appreciation.

Elsewhere in the Conservative Solar System

1. At Gatestone Institute, Con Coughlin looks at the Iranian sneaks and the U.S. mollycoddlers. From the piece:

With the Biden administration seemingly keen to recommence negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear programme, fresh evidence is emerging that Iran’s regime is up to its old tricks by attempting to conceal key elements of the programme from UN inspectors.

Iran has a long and undistinguished history of seeking to conceal the existence of key elements of its nuclear programme dating back to 2002, when a group of Iranian dissidents first revealed the existence of the Natanz nuclear enrichment site.

Enrichment is a crucial process in producing weapons-grade nuclear material, and the fact that Iran managed to build the massive underground facility about 100 miles to the south of Tehran in secret was the first major evidence that the regime was developing nuclear weapons.

Since then there have been many similar instances of Iran seeking to conceal the existence of key facilities from the outside world, such as the Fordow facility which was constructed during the late 2000s under a mountain to protect it from attack.

Now evidence has emerged that, with the Biden administration indicating that it wants to resume negotiations with Tehran on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear deal negotiated by former US President Barack Obama, Iran has resumed its attempts to conceal vital components from UN inspection teams.

2. At The College Fix, Henry Kokkeler reports on how Loyola University of Chicago pinheads students are demanding complete green energy in four years, among other idiocies demands. From the beginning of the piece:

Student activists at Loyola University Chicago have sent a list of demands to the administration, including moving the university to 100 percent renewable energy use by 2025 and a complete fossil fuel divestment by July 2022.

“In light of the 2021 Climate Change Conference, we are holding you accountable for your claims to celebrate youth activism,” Sunrise Movement LUC said in a petition on, which has 108 signatures as of March 27. The students want the university to “[s]ource 100% renewable energy by 2025,” among other requests.

The petition follows a recent Climate Change Conference held virtually on March 9 by the university’s new School of Environmental Sustainability.

University officials opened the environmental school in December 2020 and said it was “the first-ever school dedicated to environmental sustainability across Jesuit institutions worldwide.” Keynote speakers at the recent climate conference included Dejah Powell, a leading organizer for the Sunrise Movement.

The Loyola group appears to be an affiliate of this national organization, founded in 2017. The national organization supports the Green New Deal, among other environmental initiatives.

“It is not enough to acknowledge youth activism–listen to and follow through with your own activists on campus,” the letter from the activists said. The Sunrise group “recognizes the intersection between environmental and social justice issues.”

3. At Law & Liberty, David L. Schaefer reflects on Andy Ngo and the true threats to our freedoms. From the piece:

Watch the video: Καλιφόρνια: Μορατόριουμ στη θανατική ποινή (July 2022).


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