Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Protestors hold signs against fracking during a demonstration outside of the California Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Sacramento.
A Los Angeles City Council committee recommended a moratorium on fracking Tuesday, citing the state's drought, residents' health concerns and what the practice could mean for the city in the event of an earthquake.
The full L.A. City Council is expected to consider the issue on Friday. Fracking is a technique used to extract natural gas or oil from rock layers deep within the earth. The drought was cited because large volumes of water are used in the process.
"There's a way of drilling for oil and natural gas that many scientists are saying could cause earthquakes and contaminate our drinking water," said Councilman Mike Bonin, who authored the moratorium motion along with Councilman Paul Koretz. "And all this motion says is there should be scientific proof that fracking and other unconventional drilling is safe before it is allowed to continue."
California’s high speed rail project got a vote of confidence Tuesday from the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. The message came as high speed rail advocates held their annual meeting down the street from the U.S. Capitol.
Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx told the High Speed Rail Summit that the hundred million new U.S. residents expected by the year 2050 will overwhelm the nation’s transportation systems. And as long as we’re going to add rail capacity, he said, it may as well be the fastest practical technology — high speed rail.
Foxx said the Obama administration remains committed to California’s $68 billion high speed rail project, which would connect L.A. to San Francisco. He admitted there are "obviously some challenges," but said Governor Jerry Brown has reaffirmed the commitment of the state to the project by promising "significant amounts of cap-and-trade dollars to the project."
Writer D.J. Waldie considers the five lessons of the indictment of State Sen. Ron Calderon, pictured here.
Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, votes and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.
The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.
Today is Tuesday, Feb. 25, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:
The Fair Political Practices Commission is investigating Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido over a real estate deal, reports the Los Angeles Times. Pulido has not commented on the conflict-of-interest case.
A Los Angeles Times editorial questions why state Senate leaders are calling for the resignation of Sen. Ron Calderon when Sen. Rod Wright, who was convicted of perjury and voter fraud, remains in office. "The bottom line is that Wright was convicted by a jury on eight counts of voter fraud and perjury, meaning he was never in fact eligible to hold the seat he won. Doesn't lying to voters 'strike at the very heart of what it means to be a public official'," per the Times.
Attorney Eloise Gomez Reyes is running for Congress in California's 31st District. She has the endorsement of L.A. Congressman Xavier Becerra and former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.
Although an influential Democratic PAC is backing her rival, attorney Eloise Gomez Reyes has some big name support in her run for an Inland Congressional seat, putting the likes of Rep. Xavier Becerra and former U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis in her corner.
When the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee endorsed Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar last year, the race was shaping up as a showdown between him and incumbent Republican Gary Miller in the 31st Congressional District, which leans Democratic.
Miller's recent retirement announcement increased the odds that the primary might result in the two best-funded Democrats, Aguilar and Reyes, moving to the general election.
In a field crowded with Democrats, Aguilar missed getting into the runoff when he placed third in the 2012 primary election behind Miller and another Republican.
Jae C. Hong/AP
The Rim Fire burns near Yosemite National Park this summer (Jae C. hong/AP)
Despite forecasts for rain across California this week, it’s likely to be another dangerous – and costly – wildfire season. President Obama on Monday announced a plan to pay the bill for fighting catastrophic fires by tapping into a fund that pays for the federal response to hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes.
The president unveiled his plan at a meeting with Western governors at the White House, saying it was part of his administration's response to climate change. He said in the budget he’ll send to Congress next week, he’s proposing “fundamentally reforming the way federal governments fund fire suppression and prevention to make it more stable and secure.”
The president isn’t talking about your run of the mill wildfires. The funding plan would be earmarked for the largest and most expensive fires – the 1% of wildfires that consume 30% of the budget.