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Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Tom Elias

Fracking Rules Must Have Merit; No One Completely Happy

Posted Dec. 15, 2013, 9:31 am

There is little doubt an economic bonanza awaits California beneath the surface of the Monterey Shale, but environmentalists in California worry large-scale fracking of the Monterey Shale and other oilfields previously considered depleted will pollute ground water, foul the air and maybe even cause earthquakes.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Tom Elias, Politics

Recall Moves Look Like A Publicity Stunt

Posted Nov. 10, 2013, 9:27 am

There is little doubt that of the two active Republican candidates wanting to oppose Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s reelection next year, former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado is far better known than Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who represents a largely rural district including vast stretches of desolate desert.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Tom Elias, Immigration

Immigration Newest Battle For California GOP's Soul

Posted Sep. 21, 2013, 9:00 am

The newest split in the party that began by advocating freedom over slavery is about immigration, with moderate elements in the state GOP wanting some sort of pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and the conservative wing holding they are all criminals who should have no rights or privileges.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Tom Elias

Will House GOP Make Presidential Suicide Pact?

Posted Jul. 6, 2013, 9:52 am

Maybe Dana Rohrabacher, the Republican congressman from Orange County best known for his surfing photo-ops, has wiped out once too often. Or maybe his ultra-safe political turf keeps him from seeing the reality that stares his party in the face when it comes to the issue of immigration.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Tom Elias

Constitutional Crisis Over Prisons Draws Closer

Posted Jul. 6, 2013, 9:40 am

Imagine a troop of U.S. marshals trying to move aside the cadre of California Highway Patrol officers assigned to protect Gov. Jerry Brown and carry him off to a federal lockup. Picture those same marshals or companies of federalized National Guard troops confronting guards at the gates of state prisons from San Quentin to Chino, demanding the release of thousands of convicts. Those are two of the more extreme potential scenarios that could eventually play out if the constitutional crisis that appears imminent over California’s crowded prisons isn’t defused sometime soon.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Tom Elias

Central Valley Rematch A Political Weathervane

Posted Jun. 22, 2013, 9:09 am

Jim Costa had to wait more than a year for the rematch that ignited his political career. Letitia Perez will only have to wait about two months. Now a veteran Democratic moderate congressman from the Fresno-Madera area, Costa lost to Hanford Republican Phil Wyman in a special election in the 16th Senate district in 1993, but came back a year later to win the seat and hold it until he was termed out in 2002

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Energy, Tom Elias

Desert Energy Plan Would Boost Utility Profits

Posted Jun. 8, 2013, 9:31 am

What happens when a big government study undermines the assumptions made by the writers of another pricey official report? Obvious, isn’t it? When studies or parts of studies contradict each other’s basic conclusions and assumptions, the ones disliked by monied interests will usually be ignored.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Energy, Tom Elias

Fracking: Sensible Regulation Is The Way To Go

Posted Jun. 8, 2013, 9:14 am

Fears abound as California faces the reality that, besides all its other natural wonders, it sits atop an Arabian-sized oil and natural gas bonanza that can only be exploited via the process of hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Tom Elias

New Questions On Hydrogen Highway

Posted May. 25, 2013, 8:47 am

Significant new questions are cropping up about a California Energy Commission (CEC) program designed to assure there will be enough hydrogen refueling stations to make buying hydrogen fuel cell cars practical when they debut commercially between 2015 and 2017.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist, Tom Elias

How Much Should Non-Doctors Do?

Posted May. 18, 2013, 9:11 am

One thing is certain as California heads for a new health insurance era under the Affordable Health Care Act, better known as Obamacare: Almost all parts of the state will need more medical professionals to serve the additional 2 million to 4 million newly insured Californians.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, Transportation, Santa Monica, Tom Elias

Toll Roads, Lanes Sound Warning Note For HSR

Posted May. 11, 2013, 9:00 am

Gov. Jerry Brown, construction labor unions and some others are determined to proceed with California’s nascent bullet train, with the first tracks scheduled to be laid later this year between Madera and the south end of Fresno in the San Joaquin Valley.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist, Tom Elias

LNG Exports Could Hurt California Recovery

Posted May. 4, 2013, 9:02 am

California’s recovery has led the nation for months in producing new jobs, even though it hasn’t yet come close to replacing all those lost in the Great Recession of 2008-2011. Low natural gas prices have been one key element helping California along.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist, Schools, Tom Elias

Don’t Let Preconceptions Decide School Funding

Posted May. 4, 2013, 8:51 am

When it comes to setting education funding policies for California, preconceived notions have long held at least as much sway as actual reality.

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