Energy

Mary Louise Parker, OB Peoples, Mixed Nut House, and Me

September 21, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg

This past summer, while perusing library shelves 3000 miles from OB, I came upon actress Mary Louise Parker’s 2015 reminiscence, Dear Mr. You, wherein she recounts relationships with some of the men in her life.

As I glanced down the table of contents, one name jumped out and set off a set off a tsunami of flashbacks.

The year was 1984, the place Ocean Beach People’s Food Co-op, aka OB Peoples or just Peoples.

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Nuclear Shutdown News – August 2016

August 31, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free future. Here is our August 2016 edition:

US nuclear industry reaches a new low with resale of decrepit nuke plant already scheduled to permanently shut down next year.

On July 12, Syracuse.com in upstate New York announced, “Entergy to sell FitzPatrick to Exelon in mid-August.”

The FitzPatrick nuclear plant is located in Lake Ontario near the Canadian border. It started up in late 1974, not long after Richard Nixon’s reign over the White House permanently shut down. This means the nuke plant’s one reactor has been cranking away for almost 42 years, releasing radiation into the air and water in the Great Lakes region all the while.

US nuclear reactors were designed to operate only 40 years.

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SB 32: California’s Big Bet on the Environment

August 31, 2016 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Senate Bill 32 was approved by the California legislature last week along with a companion bill (AB 197), putting the Golden State on a path to further reducing greenhouse gas emissions past the end of the decade.

Gov. Jerry Brown fought long and hard for the legislation mandating an additional 40 percent cut in emissions by 2030. The state is already on track to meeting the goal, set by AB 32 in 2006, to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions back down to 1990 levels by the year 2020.

Not included in the new legislation was extending the state’s cap-and-trade program, arguably a more flexible, lower-cost policy tool to cut emissions. As things stand now, the future of the program is uncertain, as the California’s Chamber of Commerce is in court seeking to overturn the program on the basis that it needed two-thirds approval.

The Governor maintains that SB 32 and AB 197 will provide the leverage he needs to reach a deal with businesses that would prefer a market-based program like cap-and-trade over tougher mandates to cut pollution. Brown says he will put the matter of the program’s future on the 2017 ballot if he has to.

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San Diego Unified First School District in California to Call for Pension Funds to Divest from Fossil Fuels

August 29, 2016 by Source

San Diego Unified School Board meeting, July 26, 2016

By Anne Marie Tipton / SanDiego350.org

The San Diego Unified School District’s (SDUSD) Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution on July 26th calling on the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (STRS) and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) to divest their investment portfolios of stocks in fossil fuel companies.

Recognizing the threat of global warming, the resolution also supports last year’s state legislation, SB 185, which requires PERS and STRS to divest from coal stocks. Most of SDUSD’s employees belong to these huge retirement systems.

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Gas Leak in OB Monday Night Forces Evacuations

August 23, 2016 by Staff

A gas leak discovered Monday night, caused about 200 OB residents to be evacuated from their homes.

According to the San Diego U-T:

Homes in the vicinity of Bacon and Cable streets and Santa Cruz and Del Monte avenues were expected to be evacuated throughout the night until at least 5 a.m. as crews worked to locate and repair the broken gas pipe, said San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Lee Swanson.

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Nuclear Shutdown News for July 2016 – San Onofre Whistleblower: Utility Ruined its Own Nuke Plant.

August 2, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free future. Here is out July 2016 report.

San Onofre whistleblower: Utility put profits above safety, ruined its own nuke plant.

A radiation leak at San Onofre nuclear plant in southern California caused its two reactors to shut down in in 2012, and resulted in its permanent closure the following year.

On July 19 the Times of San Diego reported on a press release by Public Watchdog, a nonprofit policy group, detailing allegations of a former employee at San Onofre. Southern California Edison is the controlling owner of the nuke plat, with San Diego Gas & Electric being a minority owner of the wrecked nuclear plant.

The whistleblower, Vinod Arora, is a former Edison fire protection engineer who worked at San Onofre.

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How I Learned to Keep the Peace at a Hippie Festival With No Rules

July 13, 2016 by Source

Rainbow gathering livia gershon

When 10,000 people camp out together at the Rainbow Gathering, staying groovy can be a challenge.

by Livia Gershon / Atlas Obscura / July 11, 2016

When I wandered into an internet forum for members of the Rainbow Family of Living Light and started asking about going to their long-running national gathering, the responses were friendly, but a little unnerving. In the midst of a series of messages about Rainbow etiquette, one person briefly noted that “some bad things have a potential 2 happen. If ya ever have trouble just yell ‘shanti sena’, & some help will be on the way.”

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Nuclear Shutdown News June 2016 – Diablo Canyon to Close in Decade

June 22, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry at home and abroad, and highlights the efforts of those who are fighting to create a nuclear free future,

California Announces Last Nuclear Plant in State – Diablo Canyon – to Close by 2025

The really big news is that on June 21, PG&E, the utility that owns Diablo Canyon, announced that it had agreed to a proposal endorsed by environmental groups and labor unions to shutter California’s last operating nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon, by 2025.

This is a major victory for environmentalists – California is going nuclear-free, ending atomic energy’s more than half-century history in the state. For years, anti-nuclear activists had called for the plant’s closure because of safety concerns over its precarious location near several major earthquake fault lines. Friends of the Earth, for example, has been fighting for the plant’s closure since the 1960s.

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Carbon Dioxide Levels Set to Pass 400ppm — Permanently

June 15, 2016 by Source

The findings highlight increasingly urgent concerns about global efforts to curb climate change as outlined in the Paris agreement. (Photo: Mikael Miettinen/flickr/cc)

Carbon emissions and extreme weather events poised to push CO2 levels past symbolic threshold for good.

By Nadia Prupis / Common Dreams

Record carbon dioxide levels are set to surpass the symbolic threshold of 400 parts per million (PPM) this year and will likely never fall below that line again in our lifetimes, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Scientists at the UK Met Office used emissions data, sea surface temperature figures, and a climate model from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii to track the trajectory of CO2 levels and found that carbon dioxide “will for the first time remain above 400 ppm all year and hence for our lifetimes.”

Emissions have increased over the past 12 months due to the continued burning of fossil fuels, but the impact has also been exacerbated by an unbridled El Niño event.

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Extreme Weather Watch: May 2016 – Canada Burns, India’s Extreme Heat Record, US Tornadoes

June 8, 2016 by John Lawrence

Too Hot to Go Outside

Extreme Weather WatchBy John Lawrence

A city in western India set an all-time heat record of 123.8 degrees F in May. Authorities issued a severe heat wave alert which means that people can expect temperatures of 117 degrees F or more. In addition, drought is affecting much of the country. The heat will probably not let up until the monsoon rains come sometime in June.

The prolonged heat wave has already killed hundreds and destroyed crops in more than 13 states. Hundreds of small farmers have reportedly killed themselves, and tens of thousands have been forced to abandon their lands and live in squalor in urban slums in order to eke out a living.

Rivers, lakes and dams have dried up in many parts of the western states of Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Gujarat, and groundwater supplies are severely depleted.

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Obama Administration Approves Resumption of California Offshore Fracking

June 2, 2016 by Source
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By Dan Bacher

Claiming that fracking poses “no significant impact” to the environment, Obama administration officials on May 27 finalized their plans to allow oil companies to resume offshore fracking and acidizing in California’s Santa Barbara Channel.

The announcement from the two agencies responsible for oil drilling, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), ended a court-ordered settlement placing a moratorium on offshore fracking and acidizing for oil in the fish and wildlife-rich federal waters off California.

The two agencies reported they have completed a comprehensive environmental analysis evaluating the potential impacts from the use of “well stimulation treatments” – acidizing and fracking operations — on the 23 oil and gas platforms currently in operation on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore California.

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Nuclear Shutdown News May 2016 : Ripped Off California Ratepayers Struggle for Fairness Over San Onofre

June 1, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the US nuclear power industry at home and abroad, and highlights the efforts of those who are fighting to create a nuclear free future. Here is our May issue:

California Nuclear Ratepayers Still Struggling For Justice Over San Onofre Shutdown Costs

On May 17, the Orange County Register ran the story, “How much should consumers pay for the San Onofre shutdown?”

As previously reported by Nuclear Shutdown News, in June 2003, the San Onofre nuclear power plant, located in northern San Diego County, permanently shut down, 20 years ahead schedule.
This followed a scandal involving gross mismanagement and duplicity by its majority owner, Southern California Edison.

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UC San Diego Faculty Call on Regents to Divest UC Funds from Fossil Fuels

May 20, 2016 by Source

Academic Senate votes in support of divestment resolution

UC San Diego Academic Senate

divestUC San Diego’s Academic Senate announced the passage of a resolution calling on the UC Regents to divest the University of California’s investment portfolio of stocks in companies whose primary business concerns the extraction and sale of fossil fuels.

According to its 1868 charter, governance of the University is shared between the Regents and the Academic Senate. The vote by tenure-track faculty and academic leadership took place electronically over a two week period ending May 11.

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Nuclear Shutdown News – April 2016: Chernobyl + 16 – It’s far from over

May 2, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free world. Here is our April 2016 issue.

Chernobyl + 16: It’s far from over

On April 26, 1986, a nuclear disaster began at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine, then ruled by the USSR. Thirty years later, that disaster is far from over.

In their 1990 book, Deadly Deceit: Low Level Fallout, High level Cover-Up, authors Jay Gould and Benjamin Goldman devote an entire chapter to the Chernobyl debacle. The doomed Chernobyl nuke was one of 4 reactors operating at the site at the time. It took until 2000 for the other 3 to be permanently shut down.

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Fukushima + 5: the Disaster Continues – Nuclear Shutdown News for March 2016

April 5, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear industry, in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free future. Here is this month’s issue.

Fukushima + 5: The Disaster Continues

On March 9, two days before the fifth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the Wall Street Journal ran this story, “Japanese Court Orders Shutdown of Nuclear Reactors.”

The paper reported that the court “issued an injunction to shut down two of the four reactors recently restarted” by Kansai Electric Co. because the utility failed to prove to the court’s satisfaction that it could operate operate those nukes safely.

Driving the process, the Journal reported, were organized and outspoken community members “worried about a repeat of the March 2011 Fukushima disaster.”

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Is Jerry Brown Involved in the San Onofre Nuclear Plant Shutdown Scandal?

March 3, 2016 by Michael Steinberg

Jerry-BrownNuclear Shutdown News for February 2016

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the US nuclear power industry in this country and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free world.

Last year Nuclear Shutdown News reported on a scandal involving the San Onofre nuclear plant shutdown, and a secret deal that left its ratepayers holding the bag for a multibillion dollar debt for which the public bears no responsibility. This onerous debt will take consumers and their descendants decades to pay off if the powers that be get their way. But the people are fighting back.

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Want to Know How Much Water Your Neighbors Use?

February 12, 2016 by Anna Daniels

City of San Diego residents—look at your water bill

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

Click for larger imageWe were told last year that our water rates in the City of San Diego would go up on January 1st of 2016. That prompted me to look a little more closely at the most recent bill which includes December and January.

This year’s bill for the winter months, when outside watering was unnecessary, broke a hundred dollars for the first time.

Yes, the rates have gone up. But in addition to the amount due, other information on the bill caught my eye.

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Fukushima, Chernobyl, Santa Susana, San Onofre… and Rocky Flats

February 11, 2016 by Source

Our controversial nuclear legacy and questions about health, truth and future risks
By Nicole Hoepner

sdfp onofre back upSleeping dragons. Stirring the thin blankets of secret cold-war facilities, nuclear power plants and feebly stored radioactive waste.

We quietly sneak around their massive shadows. We tell our children fairy tales of mankind’s control over technology, over nature.

The story of The Atom That Is Keeping Us Safe, but then the unexpected happens and unspeakable horrors awaken and unleash their terror.

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100 Year Old Tree at OB Elementary Falls Victim to El Nino Winds

February 2, 2016 by Staff

OB Damage 2-2-16 ElemSchool 2

A one-hundred year old tree in the courtyard of OB Elementary School was a victim of the strong El Nino winds that hit Ocean Beach and San Diego on Sunday and Monday, Jan. 31st and Feb. 1st.

Fox5 covered the tragedy and this is part of their report:

“It’s so sad. The kids are just so sad to see it go….It’s part of our school, a part of our tradition,” said 2nd grade teacher Angela Wunder, who has been teaching at the school for decades.

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The Lessons of Porter Ranch

January 29, 2016 by Source

Porter Ranch image

By Nicola Peill-Moelter, Ph.D. / SanDiego 350.org

The massive leak at the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility is a stark example of why natural gas is a significant health and safety risk and not a bridge fuel to our clean energy future. The facility, the second largest in the U.S., stores vast amounts of natural gas at high pressure in underground wells once used for oil extraction more than fifty years ago.

On or about October 23rd a rupture in a 60-year old injection well pipe a thousand feet underground initiated the leak. At its peak the leak had an estimated rate of one-hundred twenty-five thousand pounds of methane per hour. To date, the cumulative emissions from this single source is equivalent to 25% of the state’s annual methane emissions from major sources like agriculture and landfills, equivalent to the annual climate pollution of almost half a million cars.

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Get Ready for the Market Crash and Recession of 2016

January 27, 2016 by John Lawrence

oil pumpBy John Lawrence

Oil is less than $30. a barrel. This is over three times less than what it costs just to buy the barrel itself! Iran has been accepted back into the world community and is revving up to sell its oil on the world market which will bring down the price of oil even more.

Frackers and oil producers in the US have taken on a huge amount of debt under the assumption that it would pay off down the road. They hadn’t counted on the price of oil plummeting. What will they do when we convert 100% to renewables?

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Nuclear Shutdown News – January 2016

January 25, 2016 by Michael Steinberg

san onofreBy Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the US nuclear power industry, and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free future.

San Onofre May Be Contaminated

On the last day of last year San Diego’s NBC 7 TV ran a story “Portions of San Onofre May Be Contaminated.”

The San Onofre nuclear plant unexpectedly and permanently shut down in 2013. Southern California Edison is the major owner, with San Diego Gas and Electric its minority partner.

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Did Anyone Notice? Southern California Just Went Through Two of the Hottest Summers on Record – Without … Nukes!

December 21, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Now that we’re in a wet, cold Southern California winter, it’s instructive to look back to that long, hot summer and the very warm fall that this region experienced in order to understand that the summer of 2015 – it turns out – was the hottest summer on record. On earth.

This fact made headlines – summer of 2015 was Earth’s hottest on record (Washington Post / September 17, 2015):

Temperatures soared about 1.5 degrees warmer than the long-term average, passing 1998 and 2014, which were the previous hottest summers on record depending on the dataset. These records date back to the late 1800s.

And as noted above – until this year – the summer of 2014 was the hottest summer on record (USA Today) .

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“Relax into Now” Workshop

December 16, 2015 by Judi Curry
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“Relax into Now” Workshop – December 17

Two Brighton Avenue neighbors named “Mary” are teaming up to bring a new kind of event to OB.

They came up with – “Relax Into Now” – an interactive evening of “playful paths to the present” through movement, rhythm and sound. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it.

The concept was born on the massage table as therapist Mary Owen and client Mary Tolena played with workshop ideas. Mary O teaches yoga, and Mary T’s passion is creating group experiences with rhythm and drumming. They have envisioned a fun, uplifting program that will create easy access to the benefits from both.

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Environmental Activists in Paris and San Diego: We Want More

December 15, 2015 by Doug Porter

climate greetingsBy Doug Porter

One hundred ninety nations reached an agreement in Paris this past weekend, theoretically setting the world on a path towards reducing carbon emissions. The San Diego City Council is poised to bless the long awaited Climate Action Plan. People took to the streets of Paris and the byways of Balboa Park over the weekend to affirm their commitment to seeing the challenges of climate change acted upon.

At last!–or so we’re told–there are processes in place to help save the planet, or at least, humanity’s position at the top of the food chain. The truth, however, is much different that the hype. Consider these deals “hope” without the “change.”

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Why Surfrider Is Against the Carlsbad Desalination Plant

December 11, 2015 by Source
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Editor: The following is a press statement from the San Diego Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation on the opening of the Carlsbad desalination plant.

Carlsbad Desalination Plant Opening: The Wrong Solution at the Wrong Time

San Clemente, CA, December 10, 2015 – Since 2009, the Surfrider Foundation, a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves and beaches, along with its San Diego Chapter, objected to the rationale for, and ultimately the process to establish the Carlsbad desalination plant, in California, by the developer, Poseidon Resources, Inc.

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Nuclear Shutdown News, November 2015

December 3, 2015 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the US and global nuclear industry. In addition, it highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free world.

Two more US nuclear plants slated for shutdown.

November brought news that two more US nuke plants will be permanently shutting down in the future.

On November 3 Bloomberg.com reported that the Fitzpatrick nuke on Lake Ontario in uppermost New York state would close down for good in “late 2016 or early 2017.”

Then on November 7 the Cape Cod Times reported that the Pilgrim nuclear plant on Cape Cod in Massachusetts will have its permanent closure “sometime before June 19” next year.

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Power Outage Hits OB and Midway District Monday Morning

September 14, 2015 by Staff

A power outage hit parts of OB, the Midway District and other areas close by, Monday morning, September 14. 2 2,643 utility customers had their electrical service knocked out after 4:30 a.m.  1,500 of them had their power restored by around 6:15 a.m. SDG&E did not at the time know the reasons for the outage. […]

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Extreme Weather Watch: August 2015 – The Western US Burns Up

September 8, 2015 by John Lawrence
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Wildfires swept through the states of Washington, Idaho, Oregon and northern California in a record setting conflagration. Thousands of firefighters from all over the world tried to protect houses, but, nevertheless, hundreds burned. A call went out for volunteers and thousands have responded.

Thousands have been evacuated. The cost is soaring past what state and Federal budgets can afford. The choice is to let the West burn up or bankrupt state and national budgets.

The Forest Service is spending $10 million a day to fight wildfires.

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Big Oil Spent $6.2 Million Lobbying CA Officials So Far in 2015

August 21, 2015 by Source
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By Dan Bacher / Daily Kos

The oil industry spent $6.2 million to lobby legislators and other state officials in California in the first six months of 2015, according to a report just released by the California Secretary of State’s Office.

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying group in Sacramento, alone spent a total of $1,388,203 in the first quarter of the 2015-2016 session and $1,141,037 in the second quarter of the session. That’s a total of $2,529,240 spent on lobbying in six months.

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