(Craig Kohlruss/Fresno Bee)
(Craig Kohlruss/Fresno Bee)

As California lawmakers prepare for another round of debating the best way to combat climate change, a new study says the San Joaquin Valley is benefiting economically from the state’s policies on global warming.

The report comes from Next 10, a public policy think tank that partnered with researchers at UC Berkeley to crunch the numbers.

F. Noel Perry, a venture capitalist who founded Next 10, said they studied the valley because it has struggled with poor air quality and an economy that’s sluggish when compared to the state’s coast.

“We think the San Joaquin Valley is a bellwether for climate policy,” he said. “If climate policies work in the valley, they can work in other areas of California and many other areas around the nation.”

Politicians who represent the region in the Capitol have also been skeptical of state regulations, and it’s unclear whether they’ll be swayed by some of the report, which analyzed the cap-and-trade program, renewable energy standards and energy efficiency initiatives. According to the study, there has been $13.4 billion in economic benefits, primarily from the construction of solar generation facilities.

More jobs are being gained than lost, researchers said.

“In one of the most economically depressed parts of the state, if not the country, we’re seeing these policies create economic benefits,” said Ethan Elkind, director of the climate program at UC Berkeley’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment.

A previous report from Next 10, released last summer, also found benefits from the state’s climate policies. The research said California was among the world’s leaders in generating renewable energy.

 (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)
(J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

Rep. Linda Sanchez has a plan for how to approach Democrats’ upcoming fight with Republicans over healthcare: Keep talking about it.

As Republicans race to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Democrats and supporters of President Obama’s signature health care law need to emphasize to Republicans how many people rely on the act and have benefited from it, said Sanchez (D-Whittier).

“They need to hear from their constituents what a lifeline it really is,” Sanchez said. “There seems to be this lack of understanding or appreciation of what real families are living with in terms of their health care needs.”

Ahead of Friday’s inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, Sanchez sat down with Times’ reporters and editors Tuesday afternoon to talk about Trump, and her plans as the newest member of House leadership.

Republicans are hustling to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also called the ACA or Obamacare, soon after Trump takes office, but it isn’t clear yet what will be proposed in its place, or when that replacement will presented.

“We’re gearing up for that fight. California stands to lose a lot if ACA is repealed,” she said. “We are going to be getting the message out, not just about the individuals who are impacted negatively if it goes away, but the job losses that could occur and the fact that the state of California itself is at risk for losing billions of dollars in funding.”

Last month, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) asked top political figures across the country for input on how to replace the Affordable Care Act. The response from California Gov. Jerry Brown and state leaders was abundant and grim.

A report released in December from the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education shows if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, 5 million Californians could lose health insurance, 200,000 healthcare related jobs could disappear, and Medicaid funding and individual subsidies losses could equal $20.5 billion.

She said as the public learns more about what was in the Affordable Care Act — like access to cancer screenings and no copays for checkups or birth control — the more frustrated they’ll become with the prospect of repeal without a replacement plan.

“Republicans are so good as messaging they’ve managed to convince everybody that Obamacare is bad, even if they are beneficiaries of it. But, you take it away from folks and suddenly they are going to understand exactly what Obamacare was and meant,” she said.

Sanchez also said that while she respects the dozens of members who have decided not to attend the inauguration Friday, including 16 Californians , she’s going to make a point.

“My goal is to be front and center,” she said. “I’m going to be the biggest pain in the neck that I can be.”

Sanchez said she wants to be the member Trump hates to see because she is constantly hounding him on immigration, healthcare and other priorities for her mostly southeast L.A. County district.

“My role in the next four years is to be as vocal an advocate as I can for what my constituents want and need and I will put myself in Donald Trump’s path at every turn to confront him about these issues,” Sanchez said.

 (Mark Wilson / Getty Images)
(Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) hasn’t announced yet whether she’ll run for reelection in 2018, but she gave a very strong indication that she wants to in an interview with Northern California’s KQED on Wednesday.

Feinstein, who at 83 is the oldest member of the Senate, has been coy on her plans, and news that she had a pacemaker installed last week reignited speculation about whether she will pursue another term.

Feinstein was asked by reporter Scott Shafer if she had made up her mind about seeking another term in the Senate, to which she replied, “No. I will, but I haven’t right at the moment.”

Her staff called that the “operative exchange” of the interview, but the rest is below so you can make up your mind:

“What I’ve said is, as long as I feel I can get things done, and I can, then I think I benefit the people of my state as opposed to someone new coming in. That, I realize is in anyone’s mind is different, but you asked me what I think. If I can produce, and I can produce, and I can continue to produce, then I will continue to produce. If I believe I can’t, either by health or any other way, I won’t, but as long as I believe I can, I will,” Feinstein said. “Is that pretty clear?”

“It’s clear and to me it sounds like you’re ready to run for reelection,” Shafer responded.

“Well, that’s sort of true,” she said. “I’ll make it formal at an appropriate time.”

Listen to the audio:

Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles), shown at a gun violence event in June, was selected by Gov. Jerry Brown to be California's next attorney general. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles), shown at a gun violence event in June,…