Morning News for Thursday, June 6th
The power of the oil industry in California was demonstrated last week when the State Assembly voted 35-24 to kill a bill originally designed to halt fracking throughout the state.
If passed as initially drafted, Assembly Bill 1323,, would have halted fracking and mandated a review of the risks it poses to the environment and public health.
Brian Nowicki of the Center for Biological Diversity said: oil companies are gearing up to use "dangerous new techniques" to frack massive deposits of oil in the Monterey Shale, that stretches from Northern California to Los Angeles.
Nowicki cited a new poll released May 29, by the Public Policy Institute that found that fewer than half of Californians � just 39 percent � favor increased use of fracking. The same poll found that an overwhelming 70 percent of likely voters believe the state government is "pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves" rather than for the benefit of all Californians.
The aye votes in favor of the fracking moratorium included Wes Chesbro.
Connecticut on Monday became the first state to pass a bill that would require food manufacturers to label products that contain genetically modified ingredients — but only after other conditions are met.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has said he would sign the bill into law, after the legislature to included a provision that the law would not take effect unless four other states, at least one of which shares a border with Connecticut, passed similar regulations and have a total of twenty million in population.
The legislature passed the bill, 134 to 3.
More than 20 other states are considering labeling laws, including Maine and Vermont. Early polling suggests widespread support for a ballot initiative that would require labeling in Washington,.
But whether other states will go as far as Connecticut is unclear. In New Mexico, the state Senate voted not to adopt the report of its committee recommending labeling, effectively killing the labeling effort there. Efforts in Vermont, Hawaii, NY and Maine have stalled.
Netroots Nation, the largest annual gathering of progressives and the Democratic activist base, is taking place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA.
Netroots Nation will bring together 3,000 activists to discuss key issues and strategize for upcoming political battles including immigration, gun safety, and the budget/debt ceiling fight.
Confirmed speakers include House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Tom Udall, Barney Frank, and Howard Dean, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, CA Speaker John Perez, Ben Jealous, Joan Walsh, and more to be announced.
The conference will include 80 panels on the most pressing topics of the day at the national, state and local levels, as well as trainings, film screenings, and other events.
With dry winds and extra high temperatures 5 -15 degrees above normal forecast for Northern California, CAL FIRE has increased its staffing and is urging the public to be extra cautious.
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for high winds and low humidity lasting through Saturday evening.
Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director said:. "We have extra firefighters and equipment available to respond to new wildfires, but now especially is when we need the public's help in preventing accidental wildfires."
During the Red Flag Warning CAL FIRE urges all Californians to exercise extreme caution outdoors in order to prevent a wildfires. They suggest that you Don't mow or weed eat dry grass on windy days, Ensure campfires are allowed, and if so, be sure to extinguish them completely,and Be extra careful with all powered equipment outdoors including chainsaws, tractors and welders