A catch all category for government, politics and initiatives to influence either.

Tiny Houses: A Salve for Tomorrow’s Housing Shortages?

Tiny is catching on these days. From do-it-yourself rolling palaces that amount to the size of a conventional living room to modest structures for low-income families, the concept of tiny houses is making more sense than ever for cities faced with housing shortages. But are residents and cities cut out for going teeny?

San Diego Struggles with Styrofoam: Recycle or Ban?

Despite a study concluding that the city could lose $90,000 a year from foam container recycling, San Diego’s city council has given the green light to include Styrofoam in its municipal recycling program instead of outright banning the material.

$2M in Fines for ExxonMobil for Violating Russia Sanctions

U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that it will fine ExxonMobil $2 million for violating U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia after the country’s military intervention in Ukraine. This is a black eye for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who led ExxonMobil at the time.

Facebook’s Sysphean Quest for a Fair Hate Speech Policy

How should social media companies like Facebook handle hate speech on their sites? According to the nonprofit journalism site ProPublica the criteria Facebook uses is amazingly complex. It’s also fallible, say critics, and unwittingly gives support to the kinds of comments it strives to police.

California Extends Bipartisan Carbon Cap and Trade

This week, with considerable bipartisan support, the Calif. Legislature passed AB-398, which extends the state’s cap-and-trade climate law to 2030. Supporters say the bill’s passage will strengthen market certainty for Calif.’s clean technology and oil sectors.

Leaked DOE Grid Study Favors Renewables — Will Politics Intervene?

A new grid study ordered by Energy Secretary Rick Perry was reportedly intended to support coal and nuclear, but facts on the ground are getting in the way. Career researchers from DOE leaked their draft of the report, just in case the findings change significantly when Perry’s approved version is published.

3 California Communities Sue 37 Big Oil Firms For Climate Change Damages

Marin and San Mateo Counties in Northern California and the City of Imperial Beach in San Diego County allege that the companies had foreknowledge that fossil fuel industries precipitated climate change and are responsible for covering the costs of adaptation and mitigation. 

Airbnb Host Fined $5K, Sent Back to College After Racist Incident

California’s Department of Fair Housing and Employment has fined a former Airbnb host $5,000 after she canceled a reservation largely due to the renter’s race. The former host also issued an apology to Dyne Suh and must take a college-level Asian-American studies course.

Paris Accord U.S. Commitment Still Alive

Two outspoken supporters of the Paris Accord, California Governor Jerry Brown and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, announced last week that they will launch a new initiative to help drive down greenhouse gas emissions across the U.S. and keep the U.S. on track to meet its voluntary commitment to the Paris Accord.

Net Neutrality Day Wasn’t Just About Internet Surfing

Wednesday’s doomsday scenarios got a lot of people to speak out in favor of net neutrality. But many speakers forgot to mention the greatest potential casualty to stripping away Title II protections for equal access to the internet: the companies that rely upon it to reach the consumer and grow their businesses.