We’re using less electricity. Some power plants have even shut down. So why do state officials keep approving new ones?
The bucolic orchards of Sutter County north of Sacramento had never seen anything like it: a visiting governor and a media swarm — all to christen the first major natural gas power plant in California in more than a decade.
At its 2001 launch, the Sutter Energy Center was hailed as the nation’s cleanest power plant. It generated electricity while using less water and natural gas than older designs.
A year ago, however, the $300-million plant closed indefinitely, just 15 years into an expected 30- to 40-year lifespan. The power it produces is no longer needed — in large part because state regulators approved the construction of a plant just 40 miles away in Colusa that opened in 2010.
Two other large and efficient power plants in California also are facing closure decades ahead of schedule. Like Sutter, there is little need for their electricity.
California has a big — and growing — glut of power, an investigation by the Los Angeles Times has found. The state’s power plants are on track to be able to produce at least 21% more electricity than it needs by 2020, based on official estimates. And that doesn’t even count the soaring production of electricity by rooftop solar panels that has added to the surplus…
This translates into a staggering bill. Although California uses 2.6% less electricity annually from the power grid now than in 2008, residential and business customers together pay $6.8 billion more for power than they did then. The added cost to customers will total many billions of dollars over the next two decades, because regulators have approved higher rates for years to come so utilities can recoup the expense of building and maintaining the new plants, transmission lines and related equipment, even if their power isn’t needed…(more)
AP – excerpt
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The owner of a company that supplied foreign workers to San Francisco Bay Area technology companies is facing visa fraud charges after filing fake documents to bring people to the United States, the U.S Attorney’s Office announced Friday.
A federal grand jury indicted Jayavel Murugan, CEO of Dynasoft Synergy, Inc., and a second man, Syed Nawaz, on Thursday on charges including conspiracy to commit visa fraud.
The men obtained H-1B visas for more than a dozen people by claiming the workers had jobs at Stanford University, Cisco Systems and Brocade Communications Systems, according to the indictment. No such jobs existed, but Dynasoft could use the fraudulently obtained H1B visas to get the workers to the U.S., where it could place them with other companies and profit, prosecutors said… (more)
By Jonathan Cohn, Jeffrey Young : huffingtonpost – excerpt – (video included)
The president had demanded a vote, but Paul Ryan couldn’t deliver the majority the bill needed.
House Republican leaders on Friday pulled their bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, signaling defeat on what was supposed to be a major legislative accomplishment for President Donald Trump.
The news was first reported by Robert Costa of The Washington Post, who spoke to the president directly, following a meeting between Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
Trump said he agreed to pulling the bill once Ryan made it clear the legislation lacked the votes to pass.
In subsequent remarks, both Trump and Ryan indicated they were ready to move on from health care to other issues… (more)
:sacbee – excerpt
..Senators Lara and Mitchell will unveil four proposed bills that specifically seek changes affecting youths. Together, Senate Bills 190, 394, 395 and 439 would end the collection of administrative fees against families with kids, enact into law a provision that juveniles can’t be sentenced to life without parole, require they consult with a lawyer before waiving constitutional rights during police interrogations and exclude children 11 and younger from juvenile court jurisdiction, according to bill authors.
Senate Bills 180, 355, 393 and 695 target changes for adults that would reduce enhanced drug sentences, eliminate court fees and seal arrest records for people not convicted of a crime and create a tiered sex offender registry, according to the authors.
Hearings on the proposed bills begin Tuesday in the Senate Public Safety Committee… (more)