Mythbusting provides Perspectives On Some Of The Most Common Fuel Myths

In the ongoing debate of how to best reduce dependence on foreign oil, a number of misconceptions have gotten in the way of curing our national addiction. These popular “myths” can solidify into opposing views that prevent us from arriving at a reasonable consensus. Here we provide contrary perspectives on some of the most common myths, in order to find a common ground where all Americans can work together to replace foreign oil with cheaper, cleaner American-made fuels.

Rubio’s timing for new job at Chevron stinks

Michael Rubio of Shafter was positioned to have a lot of influence in Sacramento this year as chairman of the Senate Environmental Committee, which will be key in reviewing proposals on how and whether to modify the landmark California Environmental Quality Act.

Rubio was an advocate of CEQA reform, especially for urban infill projects, and his position as a moderate Democrat suggested he was the ideal person to push for changes that would not gut the law but would reduce the ways it could be used to unfairly stall or kill good projects.

BP Executive Testifies That a Rig Explosion in the Gulf Was a Known Risk

NEW ORLEANS — On the first day of testimony in the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill trial, BP’s top executive for North American operations at the time of the disaster acknowledged on Tuesday that a well explosion had been identified as a risk before it happened.

“There was a risk identified for a blowout,” said Lamar McKay, the former president of BP America and current chief executive in charge of global upstream operations. “The blowout was an identified risk, and it was a big risk, yes.”

Oil Companies Should Call off Their Assault on Transparency

Ten years ago, an unlikely coalition of governments, citizens’ groups and oil, gas and mining companies known as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) was set up to fight corruption in countries that are rich in natural resources, but mired in desperate poverty.

By encouraging extractive companies to publish accounts of the trillions of dollars they pay to governments for the world’s oil, gas and minerals, the EITI aims to empower people with information to track the money and ensure it’s used for their benefit, rather than swelling the bank accounts of dishonest politicians.

Rise & Opine: Rubio, Rubio, wherefore art thou, Michael Rubio?

Blast off
CEQA reform supporters and Democrats must be feeling a bit like Juliet in a Shakespeare tragedy, ever since Sen. Michael Rubio announced he was leaving the Senate to become a lobbyist at Chevron.

The move leaves Senate Democrats without a supermajority and leaves CEQA reformers without a moderate Democrat capable of bridging both extremes in the debate over modifying (or “updating” or “modernizing” or “gutting”) the California Environmental Quality Act.

Dan Morain: After election losses, Chevron turns to Rubio

Setting aside questions of propriety, Chevron was shrewd to hire state Sen. Michael Rubio to head its governmental relations operation.

Rubio’s decision to quit midterm makes sense, too. I don’t doubt his stated reason for giving up a promising political career: that he and his wife have a daughter who has Down syndrome and he felt a need to put his family first.

By stepping through the revolving door, the first-term Democratic senator will probably more than double his legislative salary, heady stuff for a guy who grew up without much in the Kern County oil patch. He’s accepting a cushy position.


EDITORIAL: Watchdog agency should scrub Rubio’s move

Last Wednesday, then state Sen. Michael Rubio of Shafter told The Bee’s editorial board that he soon would introduce legislation to reform the landmark California Environmental Quality Act.

Rubio, citing a bout with the flu, spoke via telephone instead of appearing in person with other CEQA reform supporters.

The first-term Democrat told of CEQA abuses that had stymied urban revitalization and green energy projects. He also defended his proposal to exempt projects from environmental review if they met standards established by other laws.


How Doublespeak Is Ruining Our Environment

Millions of dollars have been channeled into framing climate change messages by intentional misuse of language so as to mislead the masses. The Guardianreports, conservative billionaires have doled out nearly $120m between 2002 and 2010 to re-define climate messages and frame them in a manner that would cast doubt about the climate science.

Dan Walters: Sen. Michael Rubio’s departure stirs California’s Capitol

Ordinarily, the resignation of a state senator – particularly one not tinged with scandal – is of no more than passing interest. In fact, two senators had already resigned early this year to take their seats in Congress.

However, when Sen. Michael Rubio, D-Bakersfield, unexpectedly announced last Friday that he was leaving the Senate to become a governmental affairs executive for with Chevron Corp., it created a political stir.


Dems, Republicans race to replace Rubio

HANFORD — The surprise resignation on Friday of state Sen. Michael Rubio, D-Bakersfield, is shaking up the political landscape locally and beyond.

Rubio’s decision means that Democrats now have 26 members in the state Senate, one less than the 27 they need to have a supermajority to pass tax and certain other bills without Republican support. That’s already generating intense speculation about who will succeed him in an upcoming special primary election likely to be held in May.