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As Jerry Brown continues to support the expansion of environmentally destructive fracking in California, the Governor on October 7 signed renewable energy legislation, SB 350, by Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León. The bill was amended under heavy political pressure by the Western States Petroleum Association, the most powerful corporate lobbying group in Sacramento. Before being amended, Senate Bill 350 called for a 50 percent reduction in petroleum use in cars and trucks by 2030.
Small cascades of pristine water rush out of the hillside at Big Springs, the headwaters of the Sacramento River, as they converge in a shallow pool located in the Mount Shasta City Park. On September 26, Caleen Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, and hundreds of environmentalists and activists from all over California and Oregon held a rally, the “Water Every Drop Sacred” event, in the scenic park. After the rally ended, Sisk and tribal members led a march and protest of 160 people to the water bottling plant.
Despite widespread objections, Junipero Serra was canonized on September 23 at the National Shrine in Washington DC by Pope Francis during his US visit. On September 27, as a parish celebration of the sainthood of Junipero Serra was scheduled to take place at the Carmel Mission Basilica, a statue of Serra was toppled over and paint was smeared on two grave sites, as well as on signs with the name of Serra, and on the doors of the mission. One mission artifact was inscribed with the statement, "Saint of Genocide".
In the classic movie Chinatown the villain and the head of the water district played by the late John Huston says, "Either you bring the water to L.A. or you bring L.A. to the water". In a scenario eerily reminiscent of a scene in the film, when the LA Department of Power and Water buys up land in the Owens Valley in order to seize Owens River water, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is considering purchasing land in the imperiled Delta to "bring L.A. to the water".
Dan Rush, a former union organizer for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5, was recently named in a federal arrest warrant that alleges he engaged in bad-faith negotiations with cannabis dispensary owners while acting in his capacity as a union official. Rush is also accused of holding a private financial interest in a medical cannabis company seeking a dispensary permit in Oakland in 2010.
A Texas-based oil company submitted a proposal to the U.S. Forest Service to hydraulically fracture eight new oil and gas wells and lay 8,000 feet of new pipeline in and around the pristine Sespe Wilderness in Southern California. In August, at the California Democratic Party’s Executive Board Meeting, state party officials voted to adopt a resolution urging state and federal lawmakers to curb oil extraction on public lands.
Despite a record drought in California, agribusiness tycoons Stewart and Lynda Resnick are pushing a controversial tunnel plan to benefit their almond and cash crop empire. The plan, called the "California Water Fix" and formerly known as the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, would imperil northern California fish populations. The average California household could be charged as much as $5000 to pay for the project, according to Food and Water Watch. On August 19, protesters took their complaints to the street, demonstrating in front of the Resnick's agribusiness headquarters in Los Angeles.
California:   4