• State Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, attends a Senate Governance and Finance Committee meeting June 11 at the State Capitol in Sacramento, Calif.

    Cap and trade: State senator a quiet force in the climate storm

    In a small hearing room decorated with paintings of birds and flowers, state Sen. Fran Pavley — the great-granddaughter of a three-time presidential candidate — sat down to present the bill that will likely cement her legacy as the California Legislature’s most accomplished environmentalist. As

  • A solar roof is installed in Sacramento funded by the cap and trade program. It was done during a show and tell gathering led by state Sen. Kevin de Leon.

    Cap and trade: Is California a leader or a loner?

    It was mid-morning one day in May and somewhere deep inside a 25-story tower in Sacramento, an auction, cloaked in secrecy, was about to begin. There was no gavel pounding. No shouting. No frenzy of traders running around. Instead, an unknown number of state workers surrendered their cell phones,

  • Outside view of the Clean Harbors plant in El Dorado, Arkansas

    Cap and trade: Little town in Arkansas and its California connection

    It was mid-morning one day in May and somewhere deep inside a 25-story tower in Sacramento, an auction, cloaked in secrecy, was about to begin. There was no gavel pounding. No shouting. No frenzy of traders running around. Instead, an unknown number of state workers surrendered their cell phones,

  • Spectators fill the Kern County Board of Supervisors chambers at the first public meeting to discuss a new oil and gas permitting plan.

    First airing of oil and gas plan draws overflow crowds

    Monday turned into an oil industry love fest. Kern County’s plan to streamline oil and gas permitting here got a sea of support Monday at a joint workshop before the Kern County Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission. One or two points of dissatisfaction expressed hinted at what is expected

  • A high-pressure line (foreground) delivers fracking slurry to a well about 400 feet from the fracking pad in Lost Hills. One of the large pumping units is in the background.

    INSIDE FRACKING: Chevron offers rare look at controversial practice

    Patrick Niebuhr was chatting with a visitor outside a mobile command center in the Lost Hills Oil Field when suddenly a loud rumbling arose and exhaust began to stream from a series of red semi-trucks parked nearby. The commotion told Niebuhr, a Bakersfield-based technology manager with

  • Stakes high in McDonald's latest Kern test market trial

    For faltering fast food behemoth McDonald’s Corp., the path to restored relevance could well lead through Bakersfield The once-mighty hamburger empire, trying to turn around many months of steady decline, is experimenting with an innovative, high-techy sandwich-ordering option — and, as it and

  • Worth noting in business: Valley Republic reports another record quarter

    Valley Republic Bank posted a sixth-consecutive quarter of record earnings after the Bakersfield-based institution’s net income rose in the three months ending June 30 to $814,000, a 26 percent jump over the same period a year before. Its net loans grew to $273 million, or 34 percent more than the

  • This is a file photo of the Midway-Sunset Oil Field near Taft.

    Kern's next top oil regulator may be a political appointee

    The job of Kern County’s top oil regulator may soon become a politically appointed position subject to hiring and firing by California’s governor. Switching the job’s classification from a civil service position to a political appointment would allow the state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal

  • Kern County's June unemployment is lowest this year

    Kern County’s unemployment rate dropped to 9.9 percent in June, a low for the year but still higher than the 6.2 percent rate statewide and the 5.5 percent rate nationally, according to figures the California Employment Development Department released Friday. Overall local unemployment was down

  • Jeff Williams, Lengthwise co-owner.

    Lengthwise Brewing moving, upsizing brewery

    Lengthwise Brewing Company is leaving the mothership. Jeff Williams, co-owner of Bakersfield’s only currently operating brewery, confirmed Friday that the company has signed a lease on a new location for its brewery operations. Lengthwise will move from its 6,000-square-foot brew-pub at 6720

  • Developers of the Hyatt Place at Delano Marketplace broke ground this week. The hotel is expected to open next year with 100 rooms and 4,000 square feet of meeting space.

    How China and Delano became 'family'

    When former Delano Mayor Grace Vallejo met the Chinese chairman of a real estate development firm to talk about a massive commercial development, he didn’t speak English and she didn’t speak Chinese, but as luck would have it, they both spoke Spanish. It was 2005. El Monte-based YK America

  • Local oil producer Chad Hathaway draws a sample from his produced water injection well north of Bakersfield in this file photo.

    Oil review targets 98 Kern injection wells for possible closure

    State regulators say nearly 100 more Kern County oil field wastewater injection wells may have to be shut in after a preliminary review found that only one of 11 disputed aquifers appears to qualify for an exemption from federal groundwater protections. Unless further information comes forward to

  • Local dignitaries join officials from YK America at a ground-breaking ceremony Wednesday for a massive retail and entertainment development in Delano. Plans for the latest phase of the Delano Marketplace project call for a 100-room hotel, a lifestyle center with about 330,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, and a 12-screen movie theater.

    Developer breaks ground on Delano hotel, lifestyle center

    The 45-acre Delano Marketplace development is already well underway with a power center anchored by Walmart, Big 5 Sporting Goods and Ross Dress for Less, but there’s much more to come. On Wednesday, developer YK America broke ground for another phase of the project — the Vineyard Lifestyle Center

  • Suit claims state doesn't protect Latino students near 'fracked' wells

    Anti-fracking activists increased pressure on state regulators Wednesday by filing a lawsuit that accuses Gov. Jerry Brown and State Oil and Gas Supervisor Steven Bohlen of failing to protect the health of Latino children near Kern County wells subjected to the well stimulation technique. The suit

  • Kern County oil producer Chad Hathaway takes a well sample before it goes to a wash tank to separate the oil from water.

    Kern's new oil review: 8 things to know

    At nearly 2,000 pages, the oil and gas environmental impact report Kern County released for public review Wednesday is not the easiest document to get through. Its technical complexity and vast scope testify to the county’s determination to not only streamline the process of obtaining permission

  • Four-story Hyatt hotel proposed along Coffee Road near Stockdale

    Long-vacant property at the southeast corner of Coffee and Westfield roads, just north of Stockdale Highway, may become home to a four-story Hyatt hotel within about two years, if a San Diego developer can win a conditional use permit from Bakersfield’s Board of Zoning Adjustment. The 118-

  • The Midway-Sunset Oil Field near Taft.

    County releases landmark plan to streamline oil and gas permitting

    A massive environmental document Kern County released for public review Wednesday proposes substantial new costs for California’s petroleum industry in exchange for unprecedented regulatory certainty and, ideally, peace with farmers and anti-pollution activists. Considered Kern’s most ambitious