Since founding Sierra Energy Corp. in 2004, Mike Hart has led the charge to make it a force in the world of renewable energy. This year, with a working gasification system to demonstrate for new investors, Hart is stepping aside as CEO.
Inside a concrete warehouse a few miles past Sacramento International Airport, an 80-pound white sturgeon is hauled onto a table, sliced throat to tail and relieved of its egg-stuffed ovaries. Workers at Sterling Caviar LLC pack the meat on ice, ship the roe elsewhere and repeat the process.
Yuba County’s infrastructure was crumbling and its budget bleeding red ink when officials came up with a catching solution to their energy problems.
It’s been about 20 months since lawmakers and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger breathlessly announced a historic agreement called the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Reform Act of 2009, an ambitious plan to overhaul the state’s antiquated water system. Much has changed since then, but much more is still on the way.
Being the bearer of unwelcome news rarely makes you the most popular person in town, particularly when it comes to flood control. But it doesn’t worry David Ford, one of the most trusted figures on California’s sometimes-contentious flood control scene and a man with a knack for speaking what Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Frank Hagar once called “the truth that men prefer not to hear.”
According to Mark Jansen, Blue Diamond Growers is a 100-year-old brand that is just now reaching its potential. It’s this goal of establishing the Blue Diamond brand as the world’s No. 1 producer of almonds and almond-related products that lured the lifelong Midwesterner to California with his family late last summer.
In November, after seven years of work, the U.S. Green Building Council passed construction guidelines for health care facilities. Some local building experts say it’s too early to tell what this means for Capital Region architects and builders; others say it’s too much too late for the region.
In the 35 years Ken Ruzich has managed local levees, no water event has been more memorable than the 1986 flood that nearly toppled levees along the Yolo bypass. If it wasn’t a 100-year flood, he says, it was close enough: “It was our benchmark.”
Once a U.S. Air Force base populated by concrete buildings and gun-toting soldiers, McClellan is now an eco-friendly business park home to a menagerie of green companies.
Last year the nation watched as images of weary firefighters battling a massive inferno in the Angeles National Forest blazed across their TV screens. After starting on Aug. 26, 2009, the Station Fire went on to burn 160,577 acres, injure 22 people and kill two firefighters before it was fully contained nearly two months later.
When Californians went to the polls on Nov. 2, they did more than just select a slate of new Capitol denizens. With the eyes of the world upon them, voters emphatically rejected Proposition 23, the oil industry-backed initiative to block Assembly Bill 32, the state’s groundbreaking effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Raising cattle on the Van Vleck farm near Rancho Murieta is a legacy that has passed from father to son for more than 150 years. Now struggling to keep the family ranch, Stan Van Vleck came up with an electrifying idea: Install solar panels to boost income.
Chris Huppe spent more than a dozen years working on better ways to use the green waste from his landscape maintenance company.
The proposed Shiloh III project, a 120-megawatt expansion that still requires approval by the Solano County Planning Commission this month, would place 59 new wind turbines next to the company’s existing Shiloh II project. Shiloh II, a 150-megawatt operation completed in 2008 in Montezuma Hills, provides electricity to 74,000 households.
For Capital Region farmers looking to expand sales overseas, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recent trade mission to Asia couldn’t have come at a better time. While any governor’s visit would likely attract attention, it helps to have an international film star as a spokesperson.
As economic indicators go, Thanksgiving turkey sales are often a good one.
For decades, devising a clear solution for California’s suburban sprawl and ensuing car culture has been the Holy Grail for smart-growth advocates. One trip on any of the Golden State’s perpetually clogged roadways during peak hours shows how ineffective most of those efforts have been.
Despite the general doom and gloom of our state’s current economy, there are a few bright spots that may be going unnoticed.
As consumers fill their lives with reusable shopping bags, organic foods and energy-efficient vehicles, touting the environmental friendliness of goods and services has become an increasingly important marketing strategy for companies worldwide. This, coupled with vague government guidelines for green marketing claims, is causing challenges as competitors, consumers and environmental advocates demand standards and verification of these claims.
If there is one thing a business owner hates, it is uncertainty. Planning for the future — or even managing the present — cannot effectively happen unless the person signing the checks knows the rules of the game. But when it comes to California’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, uncertainty is about the only thing employers can count on right now.