California’s Cancer Warnings on Coffee Are Unnecessary

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is coming out against a California ruling that requires coffee sellers to place cancer warnings on their products.

California’s Proposition 65 requires businesses to display explicit warnings if cancer-causing agents are present in their products. Acrylamide, which is a byproduct of roasting coffee beans, is on the list of Proposition 65 carcinogens. Research found that lab rats were at a greater risk of developing cancer after consuming the chemical in high doses. But a human would need to consume 35,000 cups of coffee each day to face the same risk. A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge nevertheless ruled in March that coffee shops, including major chains such as Starbucks, would need to display the warning.

The FDA released a statement on Wednesday decrying the ruling. “Although acrylamide at high doses has been linked to cancer in animals, and coffee contains acrylamide, current science indicates that consuming coffee poses no significant risk of cancer,” the statement says. The FDA has put its support behind an appeal of the decision.

California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment made a similar call earlier in the month, saying “exposures to Proposition 65 listed chemicals in coffee that are produced as part of and inherent in the processes of roasting coffee beans and brewing coffee pose no significant risk of cancer.” That conclusion jibes with the findings of the American Institute for Cancer Research, which in February said “no links have been established between acrylamide in food and cancer risk for humans as research is inconclusive.” It added that the topic of possible cancer-causing agents in coffee “is a well-studied one.”

This article was originally published by Reason Magazine

It’s No Secret Why The Solar Industry Loves California’s New Energy Plan

Ivanpah solar energyThe solar industry cheered the California state assembly’s passage of a bill to mandate 100 percent “carbon-free” electricity by 2045, calling it a “groundbreaking legislation.”

“As we await final confirmation in the Senate, this bill will lead to significant investment and jobs creation in California, and elsewhere in America,” Abigail Ross Hopper, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), said in a statement.

It’s no secret why SEIA supports the legislation since it increases the amount of renewable energy California must get by 2030. Experts expect most of that increase to be met by solar panels and wind turbines.

“We urge Governor Brown to sign this legislation as soon as it hits his desk,” Hopper said of California’s energy mandate.

That’s billions of more dollars guaranteed to flow to solar panel manufacturers and installers should the legislation pass. California already subsidizes solar panels through feed-in tariffs, tax credits and mandates all new homes have solar arrays.

Critics have said such policies make affordable housing harder to come by in California. Installing rooftop solar panels is expected to add between $8,000 and $12,000 to the cost of a house.

Legislation passed by the State Assembly on Tuesday night would increase the state’s renewable energy mandate from 50 to 60 percent by 2030. The bill then requires 40 percent of state electricity to come from “carbon-free” sources — that is, with no carbon dioxide emissions.

That can also include solar panels, but seems also meant to include nuclear power, hydroelectric dams and power plants with carbon capture and storage technology (CCS).

Analysts with ClearView Energy “do not currently regard the bill as a potential driver for new nuclear power buildout or CCS.”

Instead, ClearView analysts “expect solar and wind to represent a significant portion of the incremental zero-carbon policy,” according to an analysis of their legislation sent to clients on Wednesday.

The real question is whether or not more solar power can be shoehorned into California’s electric grid. The state already generates so much solar power during midday, when demand is low, that utilities have to pay other states to take the excess power to protect the grid.

Solar energy made up about 12 percent of California’s in-state electricity generation in 2017, according to California Energy commission data. It’s the state’s largest, non-hydro, source of renewable electricity.

But that’s not good enough for the solar industry it seems. Hopper also called on California lawmakers to pass another piece of legislation requiring utilities to buy more renewable energy and a bill to create a regional electricity market with neighboring states.

“That’s why we are asking lawmakers to also pass AB 893, which would require utilities to ramp up procurement of renewable resources,” Hopper said. “Furthermore, AB 813, legislation to create a regional electricity market that includes California and neighboring states will help accelerate renewable energy deployment in California and other areas of the West.”

Follow Michael on Facebook and Twitter

This article was originally published by the Daily Caller News Foundation

CA Legislators Think State Can Run on Electricity Alone

Wind Turbines Power EnergyBoth the California Senate and Assembly approved Senate Bill 100 for Governor Brown to sign into law, which sets California on a path to 100% renewables and “zero-carbon” sources in electricity by 2045. In doing so, they have demonstrated their lack of understanding of basic math.

Our legislatures have no understanding of basic math if they believe (SB100) we can replace San Onofre’s 2,200 megawatts of power with a wind farm that would take land 6 times the size of San Francisco to generate the same power.

The goals to reduce California’s one percent contribution to greenhouse gases have already increased the costs of electricity and transportation fuels to among the highest in the nation and may be very contributory to California having the largest percentage of homelessness and poverty in the nation. California households are already paying about 40 percent more than the national average for electricity according to 2016 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. SB100 will further fuel the growth of our homelessness and poverty populations.

Interestingly, the primary economic reasons refineries even exist is to manufacture the aviation, diesel, and gasoline fuels for our military and transportation industries. It may be shocking to most, but there are no economic reasons JUST to manufacture the other “stuff” of chemicals and by-products from crude oil that are the basis of 6,000 products from petroleum that are part of every infrastructure and virtually everything in our daily and leisurely lifestyles.

Surprise! Almost everything we use comes from oil.

The two prime movers that have done more for the cause of globalization than any other: the diesel engine and the jet turbine, both get their fuels from oil.  Without transportation – there is no commerce. Road and air travel dominate most people’s lives.

Today, worldwide fuel consumption is astoundingly more than 600 million gallons of diesel fuels worldwide EVERY Day, and we have an airline industry that can take us anywhere in the world consuming more than 225 million gallons of aviation fuels EVERY DAY to move almost 10 million passengers and other things EVERY DAY. Consumption of both diesel and aviation fuels are increasing every year.

Cruise ships’ fuel consumption can be up to 3,000 gallons per hour, for each ship. Complimentary to the aviation and cruise liner industry are the billions of gallons of transportation fuels, also manufactured from crude oil, being consumed to get passengers back and forth from airports, ports, and hotels.

All of the materials used by the 17 infrastructures that the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) will be reporting on in the upcoming 2019 Infrastructure Report Card for California, inclusive of all the materials used in the wind, solar, and electric vehicle industries, have their materials made from the chemicals and by-products manufactured from crude oil.

Ethanol as a substitute for gasoline is doing little, if anything, to reduce overall U.S. oil consumption or imports, because refiners are having to buy the same amount of crude (or more) in order to meet the demand for products other than gasoline – that is, diesel fuel, aviation fuel, and asphalt as well as other chemicals and by-products that all infrastructures are dependent upon.

This energy reality seems to have been lost among some of our California lawmakers, some of whom are now pursuing legislation that would require a severe cut in the use of vehicles that run on internal combustion engines in the near future.

There’s no question that electric vehicles have many positive attributes: low refueling costs, no air pollutants at point of use, and quiet operation. But despite their promise, all-electric cars continue to be hampered by the same drawbacks that have haunted them for a century: limited range, slow recharge rates, lack of recharging stations, and high costs, particularly when compared to conventional cars.

Renewables such as wind and solar only provide intermittent electricity, but do not manufacture any of the chemicals or by-products that are the basis of every infrastructures’ materials. But those by-products are real, and essential to our lives. Yet, environmentalist extremists still want to eliminate the main source of their current production.

An understanding of basic math by our elected officials should be obvious that eliminating fossil fuels in California would virtually:

  • Shutdown the military operations in California.
  • Shutdown the aviation industry at 145 California airports (inclusive of 33 military, 10 major, and more than 100 general aviation) that has a daily need for 13 million gallons/day of aviation fuels.
  • Shutdown transportation that has a daily need for 10 million gallons/day of diesel fuels, and 42 million gallons/day per day of gasoline to support its 35 million registered vehicles.
  • Shutdown the Ports of San Diego, Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
  • Shutdown the cruise liner industry calling on California ports.
  • Raise the costs materials used by every infrastructure that are made from the chemicals and by-products that are manufactured from crude oil.
  • Stymy the 90 percent of our population that cannot afford an EV, leaving them without transportation.

The future economic viability of the California economy will be dependent on our citizens electing representatives that have an understanding of basic math.

ounder of PTS Staffing Solutions, a technical staffing agency headquartered in Irvine.

This article was originally published by Fox and Hounds Daily

California Ends Cash Bail For Pre-Trial Incarcerations

Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies inspect a cell block at the Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca says he plans to implement all the reforms suggested by a commission in the wake of allegations that a culture of violence flourished in his jails. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday that makes California to be the first state to abolish cash bail for pre-trial incarcerations.

Brown was surrounded by Assembly Speaker Rendon (D-Los Angeles), Senate President pro Tempore Atkins (D-San Diego), California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, and others at the “SB 10: California Money Bail Reform Act” signing ceremony.

Brown described the new law, which takes effect on October 1, 2019 as establishing a pre-trial system that allows judges to determine a defendant’s custody status based on a non-monetary assessment of public safety risk and the probability of the defendant missing a court date. Brown added: “Today, California reforms its bail system so that rich and poor alike are treated fairly.”

Each of California’s 58 counties will establish local agencies that will set up a criteria for low, medium and high likelihood of an individual arrested on felony charges showing up for court hearings or being rearrested if released on their honor, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Low-risk evaluations would result in release with the least restrictive nonmonetary conditions; medium risk terms would be determined according to local standards. But high-risk evaluations — those having previously violated conditions of release; having been arrested for a violent felony, or sex crime; having a third DUI within 10 years; or being already on probation — would not be eligible for pre-trial release.

Brown honored the pledge he made last year to work with the Democrat-controlled legislature and Supreme Court Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye to pass the reform before leaving office in January, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) launched its Campaign for Smart Justice last December to abolish money bail, which it considers a predatory system that allows people to sit in jail awaiting trial simply because they are too poor to afford the cost of their release.

The ACLU and California progressives pointed to bail injustices revealed in a New York City Criminal Justice Agency study that found non-felony conviction rates jumped from 50 to 92 percent for those jailed pre-trial, while the felony rate jumped from 59 to 85 percent.

But the ACLU announced on August 20 that it had changed its position and was opposed to the amended version of SB 10 with an overly broad presumption of preventative detention that “is not the model for pretrial justice and racial equity that the ACLU of California envisioned.”

The Times reported that Republican Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado Hills) said that eliminating bail would put a big financial burden on California’s 58 counties, and expects that SB 10 will be overturned in constitutional challenges in the courts.

Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye praised SB 10 as a “transformative day for our justice system” and thanked the “judges in my Pretrial Detention Reform Work Group to bring about a fair and just solution for all Californians.”

This article was originally published by Breitbart.com/California

Santa Clara and 49ers Developing Fractious Relationship

Photo Credit: Diane Cordell via Flickr

Photo Credit: Diane Cordell via Flickr

In 2010, when Santa Clara voters approved creating a city-run stadium authority to build an NFL stadium to attract the San Francisco 49ers, politicians patted themselves on the back for getting things done and luring a storied franchise 45 miles south to Silicon Valley. The relocation took place before the 2014 season.

The contrast with Oakland and its inability to come up with a stadium proposal that would keep the Raiders from eyeing other metro areas was clear. Leaders in the cash-strapped city were unable to prevent the Raiders from committing in 2017 to moving to Las Vegas and working with the Nevada state government on a financing plan that should yield a 65,000-seat stadium for the team to begin using in the 2020 season.

But now the narrative has taken a dramatic shift, and it’s Santa Clara leaders who are facing grief in their community over the 49ers’ arrival in town and the impact of the $1.27 billion Levi’s Stadium (pictured), named after the San Francisco company which paid for marketing rights.

What was billed as a win-win situation by team and local officials now looks far more complex. The initial honeymoon has long since given away to a fractious relationship.

The biggest annual strain is over how much the team must pay per season. A complex agreement set the 49ers’ rent and operating fees at $24.5 million for the 2017 season. The 2018 assessment was fought over for months before an arbitratorrecently said the amount should be set at $24.762 million for the coming season, an increase of just over 1 percent.

The ruling contradicted the team’s analysis of baseline rent, stadium operating expenses, debt service and capital reserves. The 49ers argued their total payment should be as little as $16.775 million – a 32 percent cut. The city asked for as much as $25.862 million – a 6 percent increase.

“We want to work with 49ers, not against them,” Mayor Lisa M. Gillmor said in a statement released after the arbitration decision. “Hopefully the team understands that Santa Clara will always put community interests first.”

There have also been squabbles over the city’s 10 p.m. weeknight curfew for events at the stadium, which has the potential to cause headaches for the team, given the regular season games the NFL holds each week on Monday and Thursday nights, as well as the preseason games that are regularly scheduled on weeknights. Some residents respond by citing quality-of-life issues created by team-related traffic.

Personal-seat license fees needed for revenue model

Both the city and the team share concerns over attendance. While the 68,500-seat stadium regularly sells out on paper, Pro Football Talk and other popular NFL websites took to mocking the 49ers last fall after an October game in which the stadium seemed less than half full, pushing ancillary revenues down. An unexpected problem has been the intense heatseen at Levi’s Stadium for several preseason and regular season games.

A five-game winning streak to end the 2017 season raised hopes that attendance will improve going forward. But as Pro Football Talk pointed out, the team and city have reason to be deeply worried about renewals for personal seat licenses, the expensive way that fans can guarantee themselves top seats at games.

The license fees are crucial to the revenue model being used to pay off construction and related debt. Many once-successful teams have struggled to sell PSLs after their fortunes took a turn for the worse.

Meanwhile, the long-shot hope that the Raiders would continue to have a presence in Northern California after their 2020 move to Las Vegas has been dashed. Nevada media outlets recently reported that the team is likely to move its preseason training camp from its longtime base in Napa to Reno that summer.

This article was originally published by CalWatchdog.com

Taxpayer Danger Lurks Beneath California’s Employment Numbers

JobsOn a superficial level, things look pretty good in California. Sure, we have big problems with wildfires and other periodic disasters, but the state’s finances have made a strong recovery since the depths of the recession. Indeed, Gov. Brown has repeatedly touted the multi-billion-dollar surplus and the state’s balanced budget.

But objective assessments from government experts and academicians have warned of troubling aspects of the state’s financial condition. These include mega projects we can’t pay for, business flight out of California, unfunded pension obligations in the hundreds of billions of dollars, a state government that is growing much faster than population and inflation combined and a dysfunctional political system.

Close analysis reveals that California is like a home with a fresh coat of paint but a crumbling foundation. It may look pretty, but there are serious problems that are not readily apparent.

One area where there is a gulf between superficial appearance and reality is in California labor statistics. Here again, on the surface, the state’s 4.2 percent unemployment rate looks very good — and it is. During the depths of the recession, the state hit a high of 12.2 percent unemployment and tens of thousands of Californians were suffering. There’s no denying that we’ve seen a vast improvement.

But there are metrics beyond the simple unemployment rate that must be taken into consideration to fully comprehend the health of California’s labor force. A recent report from the California Center for Jobs and the Economy has troubling news: “California’s labor force grew only 16,922 over the 12 months ending July 2018, or 0.1 percent growth. The U.S. as a whole grew 1.8 million — a 1.1 percent expansion.” In other words, California’s labor force has seemingly hit a plateau — an unusual occurrence given the strength of the national economy. …

Click here to read the full article from the Long Beach Press-Telegram

Elected Officials to Blame for California’s Homegrown Housing Problem

house-constructionWe see the headlines daily — California has an affordability problem when it comes to housing. People have to live further and further away from their jobs, and even a median-priced condo is out of reach for many. Since this affects so many of us, and since California now has about a fourth of the nation’s homeless population, compassionate people want to do something. But that something could make a bad situation even worse. As former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, says, “the best way to make something expensive is for government to make it affordable.”

After emigrating from Jamaica as a child and settling in Florida, I came to California as soon as I could. Our amazing state — with its lack of humidity and flying bugs — has always been attractive to aspiring actors, creators and entrepreneurs, so a higher cost of living was expected as a down payment on living the California Dream. What’s happening now, however, is causing sleepless nights for many.

First, we need to understand how we ended up with this problem. California has lots of people willing to build, so how did we not keep up with the clear demand for so long? For years, the state has consistently added about half the housing needed to keep pace with the population. Our elected officials shoulder much of the blame, by constraining supply due to mandates and regulations. Now, of course, they’d like to be part of the solution. Central planning, however, has never worked, even though it’s been tried in myriad ways and in many different variations.

The first hurdle that politicians enacted was the California Environmental Quality Act. Instead of being used to address real environmental concerns and protect our unique topography, it’s often used as a cudgel to enact wage and other concessions from developers. Over a third of the lawsuits filed under CEQA have to do with housing. This, of course, adds costs and delays to development, and gives pause to anyone considering building in the state. …

Click here to read the full article from the Orange County Register

New Poll: Proposition 6 Gas Tax Repeal Losing

Proposition 6 is on track to fail in November, according to a new poll by Probolsky Research.

Their latest polling shows 48% of voters oppose the measure when presented with the title they will read on their ballots.

Surprisingly, fewer than 60% of Republican voters support the gas tax repeal.

As the voter contact campaign begins to kick into gear, the polling firm stated that it expects changes in the numbers.  The poll can be accessed at this website: https://www.probolskyresearch.com/category/news-insight-and-research/

 Screen Shot 2018-08-25 at 8.31.48 AM

ACLU Fighting California Democrats over Gun Control

Gun Open CarryThe American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is pushing back against Democrats’ efforts to create further limitations on gun ownership based on mental health treatment.

California Democrats are pushing to secure five gun controls before the legislative session ends. One of those controls would expand bans on gun ownership to include new prohibitions related to mental health.

The Sacramento Bee reports that Democrats want to “prohibit gun ownership for anyone involuntarily committed to a facility twice in one year for a mental health disorder.” A misdemeanor conviction of domestic violence would also trigger a ban on gun ownership.

The ACLU is zeroing in on the mental health provisions, voicing opposition on the grounds that broad language is being used to lump the non-violent in with those who may, indeed, be violent. The ACLU said, “This bill stigmatizes people with a history of mental health issues, and perpetuates the harmful and false stereotype that such people are inherently violent and dangerous.”

We saw similar opposition to the Social Security gun ban, which was created and implemented federally under former President Obama. That ban prohibited gun ownership for beneficiaries who needed a money manager due to mental health struggles, be those struggles temporary or permanent. Duke University psychiatry and behavioral science Professor Jeffrey Swanson made clear that the ban was a convenient way to lump all types of people together–the violent and the non-violent–for a broad-based gun ban.

Swanson used a Washington Post column to explain that “the vast majority of mentally ill individuals” pose no threat to themselves nor to others. Yet the ban stigmatized a broad swath of the mentally ill by treating them as a threat.

The ACLU is making a similar argument against the ban being pushed by California Democrats.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.

This article was originally published by Breitbart.com/California

California is following Germany’s Failed Climate Goals

Global WarmingGermany was the first major economy to make a big shift in its energy mix toward low carbon sources, but Germany is failing to meet its climate goals of reducing harmful carbon-dioxide emissions even after spending over $580 billion by 2025 to overhaul its energy systems. Germany’s emissions miss should be a “wake-up” call for governments everywhere.

Germany stepped us as a leader on climate change, by phasing out nuclear, and pioneered a system of subsidies for wind and solar that sparked a global boom in manufacturing those technologies.  

Like Germany, California’s renewables are becoming an increasing share in electricity generation, but at a HIGH COST. The emission reduction goals have increased the costs of electricity and transportation fuels and increased the already high cost of living in California and may be very contributory to California having the highest percentage of homelessness and poverty in the nation.

California households are paying about 40 percent more than the national average for electricity according to 2016 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Californians continue to pay almost $1.00 more per gallon of fuel than the rest of the country due to a) the state sales tax per gallon which are some of the highest in the country; b) refinery reformatting costs per gallon; c) cap and trade program compliance costs per gallon; d) low-carbon fuel standard program compliance costs per gallon; and e) renewable fuels standard program compliance costs per gallon.

California is an “energy island” to its almost 40 million citizens, bordered between the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The state’s daily need to support its 145 airports (inclusive of 33 military, 10 major, and more than 100 general aviation) is 13 million gallons a day of aviation fuels. In addition, for the 35 million registered vehicles of which 90 percent are NOT EV’s are consuming DAILY: 10 million gallons a day of diesel and 42 million gallons a day of gasoline.  All that “expensive” fuel is a heavy cost to consumers.

Despite higher energy bills, public opinion has remained supportive of the energy transition and the strategy to cut emissions. That support is apt to shift when politicians resolve the debate about how their targets match reality. Either they will have to abandon the goals and live with more pollution than they’ve promised, or they will have to force through painful and expensive measures that further limit emissions.

Germany, like California, is also trying to phase out nuclear reactors. California has already shutdown the 24/7 nuclear generating facility of SCE’s San Onofre (SONGS) which generated 2,200 megawatts of power that closed in 2013, and will be closing PG&E’s Diablo Canyon’s 2,160 megawatts of power in 2024.

Shutting down nuclear plants is leaving California, like Germany, short of 24/7 generation plants that can work on the breezeless and dark days when wind farms and solar plants won’t provide much to the grid—and demand is at its peak. Yet to be determined is the impact on rate payers? Will there be more reliance in California placed on fossil fuels for 24/7 power?

Germany’s economy, like California’s, is dominated by services that require less energy and produce less carbon than places tilted toward industry and manufacturing. Thus, less emissions to micromanage cost effectively reduce. California is a miniscule contributor to the world’s greenhouse gases. Statistically, the World is generating about 46,000 million metric tons of GHG’s, while California has been generating about 429 million metric tons, which is less than one percent of the world’s contributions. Germany’s contributions are about 905 million metric tons, which is about two percent of the world’s contributions.

Germany’s failed climate goals is an ominous wake-up call for California and governments everywhere struggling to reach their own targets. The result is a puzzle for politicians. Enacted legislation to make sure climate targets are hit, including stringent rules governing energy use, and new building codes to make buildings carbon neutral, and utility bill charges that subsidize investment in green energy, are all resulting in higher energy costs to consumers.

ounder of PTS Staffing Solutions, a technical staffing agency headquartered in Irvine.

This article was originally published by Fox and Hounds Daily