On Dec. 16, the board issued guidelines for California's cap-and-trade legislation, part of a larger effort to reduce the state's reliance on coal and other polluting sources of power. After a two-year rulemaking process, the agency decided that utilities needing so-called pollution credits initially will get them for free, rather than having to buy them from other utilities.
"We were very pleased, given the possibilities, including the possibility at one point of increasing rates as much as 30%," Glendale Water & Power General Manager Glenn Steiger said.
The state already is imposing strict timelines for conversion to solar and other non-polluting power sources under a bill signed in 2006 by
Instead, Davis said, "We will do cap-and-trade in California, and not have rate shock to consumers."
The air board will allow free credits for the first three years of the program, which begins to take effect in 2012. By 2020, the state's goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15%, returning them to 1990 levels.
If the air board had put in place a bought-credits system, Davis said, Southern California municipal suppliers likely would have had to pay substantial sums to Northern California utilities, such as Pacific Gas & Electric and the
During the rulemaking process, Steiger said, Burbank and
Davis credited the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power for playing a pivotal role in persuading California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary Nichols and others to steer clear of a paid-credits program.
"L.A. DWP gets lots of bad ink," Davis said, referring in part to coverage of financial disputes between the utility and the city of
Schiff spends day on other side
But Schiff recently spent what he called an "otherworldly" day before the full
Schiff said the Porteous case raised novel constitutional issues, including whether federal officials can be impeached for conduct that took place before they were appointed, or for lying to the Senate.
Among the charges against Porteous were that he accepted cash and favors from lawyers when he was still a judge in the
On Dec. 8, the Senate found Porteous guilty of both charges, as well as two charges related to his conduct as a federal judge. Porteous lost his job, pay and benefits for what was to have been a lifetime appointment.
"By reaching the verdict they did, the Senate sent a powerful message to future nominees that they can't play hide the ball and have a safe harbor for life," Schiff said.
The congressman, a former federal prosecutor in Los Angeles, added: "To argue a case felt very familiar. On the other hand, to argue in front of the whole Senate could not have been more novel."
Reps. get more power on committees
Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-
In a statement, Dreier said "the Rules Committee will be responsible for implementing and maintaining a commitment to the reforms that the new Republican Majority has pledged to put in place. We need to make the House more transparent and accountable to the American people. We also need to reform the rules and operations of the House to ensure that they encourage spending reductions and economic growth."