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KNBC TV-4 Los Angeles, CA: Exide Cleanup Under Fire for Leaving Homes With Contamination

Young children play in the back yard under the shade of an avocado tree. The kids dig holes while their grandfather makes homemade guacamole. It's a scene that's played out at the Mariz family home in Maywood for years.

But no more.

"They found lead throughout my front yard but not as bad as the backyard. The backyard is worse," said Reynaldo Mariz.

Lead levels are so high that state officials have told Mariz to stay out of his backyard until it's cleaned. But until recently, his grand kids played in the contaminated dirt all the time.

As Aliso Canyon Injections Resume, Some Valley Residents Say They Fear The Worst

Jane Fowler says she’s crippled with fear over Southern California Gas Co. resuming injections at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility near her home.

The Granada Hills resident has endured headaches and nausea in recent years, she said, that would vanish when she distanced herself from the underground storage field, site of the largest natural gas leak in U.S. history.

Consumer Report Alleges Conflicts Of Interest Between Gov. Brown and Sempra

One day after Sempra Energy’s regulated natural gas utility announced it had reopened the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage plant, a Southern California consumer activist group raised new questions about the San Diego energy giant’s close ties to Gov. Jerry Brown.

The Governor’s Office rejected the groups’ report as old and baseless, saying there are no conflicts of interest and Brown-appointed regulators are holding utilities to account.

PUC Appointee Deserves A Hard Look From State Senate

Depending on how things go in a scheduled Aug. 23 state Senate confirmation hearing on Gov. Jerry Brown’s latest choice for a seat on the powerful state Public Utilities Commission, many millions of consumers could face both health risks and higher-than-necessary electric, gas and water bills for the next six years.

That’s the length of the term to which Brown appointed his longtime close aide Clifford Rechtschaffen, labeled a “lapdog” of the oil industry by some consumer advocates. Once confirmed, he can’t be fired by either Brown or the next governor.

Op-Ed: Why PUC Confirmation Is A Key Test For Legislators

The recent reopening of the Aliso Canyon natural gas reserve, source of the largest methane leak in U.S. history, should remind state lawmakers that regulation is as worthy of their focus as legislation.

A confirmation hearing on Wednesday for Gov. Jerry Brown’s top aide on oil and gas to the Public Utilities Commission gives the state Senate an opportunity to set the record straight on Aliso Canyon and the Achilles’ heel of the Brown administration.

EDITORIAL: State Senators Must Ask Tough Questions Of PUC Nominees

There are some indications that Clifford Rechtschaffen, one of Gov. Jerry Brown’s two latest appointments to the state Public Utilities Commission, would be more of an advocate for utilities than for consumers, ratepayers and those adversely affected by environmental issues.

That’s why the Senate Rules Committee needs to ask tough questions of Rechtschaffen in his confirmation hearing this week.

State Senators Say Utility Regulators Must Restore Trust

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California Senate panel gave narrow approval Wednesday to Gov. Jerry Brown's two recent appointees to a powerful utilities commission after imploring them to restore public trust in an agency that's been damaged by scandals and environmental disasters, including the largest-known methane gas leak in U.S. history.

Senate Leader Says Brown's Utilities Commissioners Must Face More Questions Before A Floor Vote

The California Senate Rules Committee voted 3 to 0 on August 23 to confirm Governor Jerry Brown’s nomination of Clifford Rechtschaffen and Martha Guzman Aceves as commissioners on the California Public Utilities Commission, but Senate leaders said the two have serious questions to answer before the confirmation is put to a floor vote.

Consumer advocates speaking at the hearing strongly opposed Rechtschaffen because of his history of coziness with Big Oil and Big Gas interests under the Brown administration. Nobody at the hearing voiced specific opposition to Aceves’ confirmation.