California Assembly passes statewide rent control bill—governor will sign

California is on the verge of having statewide rent control.

Assembly Bill 1482—which will bar landlords from hiking rents more than 5 percent, plus local inflation, in one year—was approved this afternoon in the state Assembly on a 46-22 vote. Inflation varies by region, but averages about 2.5 percent in California.

The bill now heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk; he has said he will sign it.

California lawmakers challenge Trump’s bid to expand oil drilling and fracking statewide

SACRAMENTO — California on Monday sought to block the Trump administration from allowing new oil and gas wells in national parks and wilderness areas in the state.

Any new oil or gas projects approved in federally protected areas would be prohibited from having their pipelines or other essential infrastructure cross state lands, under legislation approved by California lawmakers.

California’s biggest oil spill in decades brings more defiance than anger from locals

McKITTRICK, Calif. — Near the jagged western edge of Kern County, where the Temblor Range gives way to a landscape of steam pipes, fuel lines and bobbing pump jacks, there’s a definite mood in this dusty little oil town: Defiance.

Hardly a day goes by without reports of the growing oil leak in nearby Cymric oil field. So far, more than 900,000 gallons of oil and brine have oozed from a Chevron Corp. well and filled a dry creek, creating a hazardous black lagoon.

Bill to help with e-scooter safety could be passed next session

SACRAMENTO – A proposed bill to promote the safety of e-scooters will likely not be introduced until the next session of the California state legislature, according to the communications director of Consumer Attorneys Association of California.

Eric Bailey said while the bill could still make it in this session, it's looking more like a two-year bill.

California governor criticizes increase in fracking permits

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday he wants to move the nation’s most populous state away from hydraulic fracturing, a day after he fired the state’s top oil and gas regulator for issuing twice as many fracking permits this year compared to last.

“I don’t think anyone that was paying attention, including the individual that’s no longer there, is unaware of my position on fracking,” Newsom told reporters. “I’ve been very explicit about it. The fact that they did not exercise consistency with that is one of the reasons he’s not there.”

$21B ‘Wildfire Fund’ bill advances, heading to California Assembly

A bill that would create a Wildfire Fund to help utilities pay victims of future wildfires advanced out of committee Wednesday, now heading to the full Assembly.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — State lawmakers are facing a host of bills this week tackling various aspect of wildfire safety and utilities’ roles within that.

Wildfire Liability Fund for California Utilities Approved by Lawmakers

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) – California utilities will soon be able to access a $21 billion state insurance policy to settle wildfire-related lawsuits and liabilities under legislation approved Thursday by lawmakers.

Grappling with the prospect of another major electricity provider filing for bankruptcy as Pacific Gas & Electric did in January after its faulty power lines sparked the deadly 2018 Camp Fire, lawmakers are hoping to soften the financial blow for utilities that agree to undertake costly fireproofing actions.